Karachi’s kapra market thrives on fabric, suits from Faisalabad

Published February 21, 2021
In this picture combo, (left) labourers at Kapra Market behind Memon Masjid are seen unloading fabric bundles arriving from Faisalabad while in the second photograph (right) a shopkeeper displaying unstitched Chinese fabric to consumers.—Fahim Siddiqi/ White Star
In this picture combo, (left) labourers at Kapra Market behind Memon Masjid are seen unloading fabric bundles arriving from Faisalabad while in the second photograph (right) a shopkeeper displaying unstitched Chinese fabric to consumers.—Fahim Siddiqi/ White Star

KARACHI: Traders said prices of fabrics and readymade suits arriving from Faisalabad at the wholesale Kapra Market, also known as Kaghzi Bazaar, have already come under pressure ahead of Ramazan which is set to begin in the second week of April.

Kapra Market is a labyrinth of fabric shops scattered in narrow lanes (each a mini-market on its own) which begins from the Memon Masjid on MA Jinnah Road and extends towards Mithadar. One of the largest wholesale cloth markets in the country, it attracts a large number of buyers including women seeking designer lawn suit replicas and low-priced unstitched cotton fabric as well as traders from interior Sindh. The market witnesses two-way trade — massive influx of clothes varieties from Faisalabad and shipment of a large quantity of clothing varieties to Punjab and other parts of the country.

Clothing gets costlier ahead of Ramazan

Wholesale dealers in Kapra Market have geared up their purchase of unstitched fabrics and embroidered suits from Faisalabad. Retailers are likely to complete their stock piling of various fabrics and readymade suits before the 15th of Shaban which falls in the last week of March.

Talking to Dawn, traders Ashraf Essani and Yaqoob Bali said unstitched gents shalwar kameez fabric (blended) now costs Rs135-140 per metre as compared to Rs95-100 per metre two to three months back. Cotton unstitched fabric for women’s clothing is now priced at Rs185-190 per metre versus Rs155.

“These are normal and considered as affordable suiting while high-quality costs more,” they said.

Another trader Mohammad Yasir Ismail said the cost of fabric has gone up as polyester yarn price is now tagged at Rs210 per maund as compared to Rs165 in the last two months.

“Polyester yarn has been in high demand as textile goods exporters are getting huge orders from foreign buyers,” he explained.

He said unstitched grey fabric (off-white color) also arrives from Faisalabad for men’s shalwar kameez but its volume is not significant as mostly finished and dyed fabrics are finding their way in the market.

When asked about the sales of cloth coming from Faisalabad alone, Mr Essani estimated that the arrival of basic fabric of women and men suiting (dyed) including unstitched embroidered fabric ranges between 500,000-700,000 metre per day. “Faisalabad hold 95 per cent share, while some quantity of fabrics also arrives from Gujranwala and Lahore. One can estimate the rupee worth of the quantity keeping in view Rs125-130 per metre price,” he said.

The decline in arrival of Chinese and Indian goods has created additional demand for local brands, he said.

Faisalabad-made fabric is also lifted by the makers of low quality shalwar kameez which are sold at various weekly bazaars.

Talking to Dawn, CEO Bonanza Garments Industries, Hanif Bilwani said that branded manufacturers do not use low quality cloth for preparing readymade women and men garments. “High quality fabric is arranged through various mills,” he said.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2021

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