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Getting clothes made in India....has anyone done this?

Getting clothes made in India....has anyone done this?

Oct 27th, 2009, 02:01 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
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Getting clothes made in India....has anyone done this?

I am wondering if you can get suits, blouses, pants made to order in India like you can in Thailand? Perhaps with a two day turn around and relativley inexpensive? If you have done so we shall be in Rajisthan, Varanasi, Kathmandu and Agra. Where is the best place for this and is the quality good?

Thanks for any advice.
live42day is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 06:54 PM
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I have not done this, but my feeling is that having Western-style clothes made, esp. for women, could be a less than trilling experience. Tailors in India generally are used to sewing saris and Punjabi outfits for women. They don’t have a lot of experience with Western-style clothing for women. I am not sure if you want to be the guinea pig, no matter how cheap the cost. Tailors of course do make suits for men, but my impression from years of working and traveling in India is that they would have limited experience in making suits, trousers and blouses for women. Indian business women I know who wear suits buy off the rack, and buy designer names, rather than using tailors (there is some reverse snobbery to this; it’s more expensive to buy off the rack, but it may also be a quality issue.) The fit may therefore tend to be quite boxy, esp the jackets. (I find this to be the case with some Hong Kong tailors who primarily sew for men.) I would note that tailors in India are virtually excuslively men, which may compound the problem.

If you bring items to be copied, you may be beter off as that will give them a pattern to use. But you may have problems finding quality materials.

If you do this, I would absolutely avoid Agra, too touristy. (I would not shop at all in Agra, waaaaay too touristy. Agra has a lot of great points, shopping is not one of them.) I think all the places on your list do not have enough of a business-oriented market to have tailors with experience making Western-style clothes. There is no local market for it, and no real tourist market for it (unlike Bangkok). If you will be in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai or another major city then it may be feasible; but I personally don’t think it is worth the time and trouble. Buy a sari or have some other traditional clothes made instead. Perhaps others have actual experience which is different.
Cicerone is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 08:17 PM
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The few times I tried to have stuff made from scratch it was a disaster. They made the waists on a pair of pants too high, and the crotch too low. They made a blouse too fitted, as that is how sari tops are made.

When I took in tops to be copied exactly with my own fabric, I had very good luck. Each one cost about $8 US to have made. My guy is in Delhi though.
lcuy is offline  
Oct 27th, 2009, 09:52 PM
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The tailors in India are mostly men, although there are some boutiques that have women tailors.
But, as Cicerone has explained beautifully it will be hard to get a good western fit for blouses, slacks or suits.
There is an abundance of tailors who can do marvelous stitching of Indian outfits complete with gorgeous embroidery and bead work.
But that will take many weeks and often the delivery day is not firm.
So, if you are still interested in trying to get something stitched I would suggest bringing your material from wherever you live and then asking your hotel to suggest some tailor. Many of the 5 star hotels have small stores and they may also have some reference for you. Also bring a picture of the design you want. Indian tailors do a good job copying styles from catalogues or any other pictures.
Make sure you get your clothes stitched only in larger cities such as Delhi and Bombay. Places such as Agra, Jaipur will not have tailors to give you any help at all, so dont even try.
I would also suggest that you take time to shop at some high end stores for ready-made slacks and blouses. maybe you find something you really like.
If you are interested in silk outfits, it may be even good idea to buy the silk there and make it yourself or get it stitched by a seamstress wherever you live. That may be an expensive route.
If you like, I may be able to give you a name of a tailor in Connaught Place area in New Delhi who stitched suits for my family and did a great job.
Good luck.
ileen is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 08:10 AM
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Wow thank you so much ladies. I think I will pass. I now know why I have not seen any posts on this. Good to know ahead of time so as not to have a frustrating experience when I get there.

Had some clothes made in Chiang Mai and was very happy with the results.

Many years ago I had my wedding dress made in Singapore and it was a disaster! The excuse was that it was because I was so big. At the time I was a size 9 (US size 7). AH to be that size now!!

I may just look for a ready made sari instead.

Appreciate the help.
live42day is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 12:01 PM
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When you buy a sari, there is often an extra meter of fabric attached to make a matching top. The shop will usually have a tailor (on site or a referral) that will make the top to match in a day or so. Otherwise you can buy a tee-shirt type top in a matching color.

Many places also sell ready to cut punjabi suits or Salwar kameez. These will be cut to fit you, and can be sewn up in a few hours or overnight. You'll see what looks like a piece of embroidered fabric hanging in a shop, but notice that the embroidery looks like a decorated neckline. It's a fast, cheap way to get an Indian outfit that fits.
lcuy is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 03:48 PM
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thank you lcuy. I will let everyone know when I return what I got and how it all worked out.
live42day is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 10:54 PM
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Sorry for the tresspass, ladies!
Imo, buying of garments is a tricky business in India. Either you buy the branded stuff, there are several shops in South Delhi or get an out-fit made by a good ladies tailor. The 'Big Joes' in the CP inner circle did have some fine out-fits & I have purchased these for my wife, over the years. The quality has never been a let down.
Making a Kameez & Salwar is not everyone's cup of tea! A kameez must fit the torso or the whole thing looks so awful. The Salwar must have the adequate flair & pleats for elegance. All those tailors promising a fine outfit in a couple of hours are a waste of time & money. A good tailor will take several days to produce one. You will need the assistance of a local, but do not trust the wisdom of a guide or the driver for he knows nothing about good tailoring!!!
The designer salwar or kameez may or may not be amenable to alteration, because of the intrinsic nature of design.
In general, buy your stuff from the designer boutiques only...and leave severely alone all those promised manufactories.
vp_singh is offline  
Oct 30th, 2009, 01:43 PM
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It can very difficult to find a GOOD tailor, even for Indian garments. Although they take your measurements and go through the motions, there's still a high chance the garment will not fit just right. Most of the tailors have learned on the job and don't have any formal training. For western clothing especially, you probably won't be happy with the finished product. The "fit and finish" may disappoint you.

There is a lot of ready made Indian clothing of varying qualities depending on the store, BUT make sure you try it on before you buy it. One problem I encounter is the opening on the kurta top is too small and there aren't any buttons or zippers to make it easier to put on. If you don't try it on you may not notice something like that.

The short answer is, don't bother going to for tailored clothing in India.
Jaya is offline  
Oct 30th, 2009, 03:04 PM
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Thank you VP and Jaya. The verdict is in! No tailored clothes in India. I shall wait until I return to Thailand next year.
live42day is offline  
Oct 31st, 2009, 04:45 PM
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We were recently in Jaipur and my husband had two jackets and a suit made. The first jacket was made off of one he had taken on the trip. Same day service. Beautiful italian wool fabric. The other two items he was fitted for. Again italian wool very nice. I think he was fitted on a Friday afternoon and had them back by 5pm Saturday. Total cost was around $600 for all three. If you are going to Jaipur I would be happy to share the name with you
cherylcd is offline  
Nov 1st, 2009, 03:16 AM
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I agree with Lcuy, I had quite a few things made in India (never quite learned when to give up) and, in their own way, each was a disaster. Granted, my India travels were quite a few years ago but from what I read here,not much has changed.
ekscrunchy is online now  
Nov 1st, 2009, 04:30 AM
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I was in India two years ago and had a couple of things made. I wouldn't recommend the experience; I got taken in by the gorgeous colors of the fabric, but let's just say that the promises and the performance didn't match.

I'd gotten clothing made in Hoi An in Vietnam and loved it; I'm still wearing it often seven years later. India, well, not so much.
Amy is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2009, 04:55 PM
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Thank you Cherylcd, but I think the verdict is that they do a better job for men than women.
I will save my self un necessary agravation.
live42day is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2009, 06:27 PM
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I'll tell you what my wife does to get good clothes tailored in India. (It's not easy though). The secret to getting clothes tailored in India is to buy the material there, but take an exact size of clothing that you want tailored with you, and leave it with the tailor to duplicate. (Addition of embroidery etc is an added benefit at very low cost). Good custom tailoring, but this requires customer involvement...includes first fitting, then another final fitting when you give the OK to proceed with the rest of the clothing to be tailored, and you need to return to the same tailor a week or two later to pick up your loot. Custom designs of the blouses etc is possible.

Also, get only one piece made first, try it and then let the tailor know how the fit is, and he will make the revisions. Then get the rest of the lot of clothes tailored to the fitted blouse or clothing.

If you decide to go this route, buy the material and give it to the tailor, say in New Delhi, as soon as you get there, ask for a "first fitting" for the next day. Then after revisions a final fitting, (maybe later the same day), then you order the rest of the pieces to be tailored. Then you can go travel to other parts of India, and the tailoring will be ready when you return to New Delhi, maybe just before you are flying out.

Don't know if you are flying in/ out of New Delhi or Mumbai.
As others have said, ask for a good tailor at the hotel. Like I said, it's not simple or easy.

Hope this helps.
magical is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2009, 07:07 PM
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If you do get clothing made there, whether Western or Indian style, you must also specify details such as they use only color fast thread, piping, and other accessories. I had a kurta pajama ruined in the wash (cold water) because the red color on the piping they used ran and stained the beige on the kurta top. I was so mad because the color on the rest of the garment was color fast, only the piping that the tailor added for detail was bad.

Magical is correct that you should bring an item that fits you well to leave with the tailor. I have to do that with sari blouses or else they invariably cut something too tight or too loose.
Jaya is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 09:50 PM
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You may get in touch with Mrs. S. Suri. Her emaill address is [email protected] . Mobile: +919818841197. She stays in the Panchsheel enclave of south delhi. I am told she is good & a trained garment designer.
vp_singh is offline  

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