As tshechu draws near, tailors of Trashigang are working late into the night.

It’s almost midnight and Sangay Dorji is still on his machine, sewing the third gho of the day. The 30-year-old tailor has started working overtime.

During this time of the year, Sangay Dorji opens his shop at around 7am and closes only at around 2am.

“It is only during tshechu that we get to make good income,” he said. “If we don’t do overtime, we won’t be able to finish the orders we have received.”

Another tailor, Thinley Wangchuk, has also been working overtime. “Normally, I close my shop by 8pm, but these days we remain open till midnight. I’ve stopped taking further orders because I might not be able to ready the orders on time.”

Thinley Wangchuk takes around five hours to stitch a gho. “Kiras are comparatively easier. When people come with their kira, we immediately complete it and hand it over. Stitching a gho is more time consuming.”

He makes around Nu 50,000 during the tshechu month, almost Nu 20,000 more than normal days. “We could make a little more, but without enough working hands, it is difficult. We cannot take orders and fail to deliver it as per the deadline.”

Sangay Dorji said: “During other days, it is hardly enough to sustain ourselves. We cannot employ tailors because there is not enough work for ourselves. Now, if you see, we are in need of some helping hands to complete the work on time.”

Sangay Dorji said that currently most of the tailor shops in the country are surviving by stitching clothes of office goers. “We don’t have a means to expand our business.”

Younten Tshedup |  Trashigang