Due to the arrival of winter, the weather has started getting colder at night and in the morning. This is the reason why artisans are spending busy time in making coating and blankets in Mirzaganj of Patuakhali. Buyers are also flocking to the shops to make blankets as an advance preparation for winter. Many people are busy repairing their old carpets.
As the winter as almost at the verge of the door, therefore, as an advance preparation to face the winter, the businessmen are making coatings according to the needs of the customers and keeping them stocked in the shops. In the winter season, weddings are held in rural areas. According to the village culture, there is a custom of giving gifts to the new bride including blankets, mattresses, pillow, lap pillows. As a result, the artisans of Mirzaganj are having a busy time.
Local businessmen and artisans said that due to the Coronavirus situation, the demand for coatings this winter is less than last year. Moreover, paddy harvesting in this region has not yet been completed. So there is not much demand for coatings from rural areas. However, as the winter progresses, the demand may increase - this is what the traders are hoping.
On Friday, in the shops of the upazila Sadar, the work of the artisans was seen on the ground. Some of the artisans are washing cotton, some are busy with embroidery, some are making various designs by applying needle drops.
While talking to some shopkeepers and artisans, they said that 5 to 10 Lep-Toshaks are being made every day in each blanket manufacturing shop. However, coating cloth, foam and wages have increased this year compared to last year, vendors said. Meanwhile, they claim that the wages that the artisans are getting are not compatible with the current market.
They also said that this year it costs from 1600 taka to 2500 taka to make a coating. The cost of making a blanket ranges from 1,500 taka to a maximum of 3,000 taka. In this case, an artisan earns 250-300 taka for making a blanket or mattresses.
Hakim Howladar, a resident of the upazila who came to the shop to make the coating, said that he had come earlier to make the coating, preferring the winter. He believes that if the winter sets in, the artisans will be more busy and the prices will also increase. That is why he has already come to get the coating made.
Aminul Islam, the owner of Alamin Bedding Store, said that their sales are good during winter. They are getting orders of 5 to 10 blankets every day at the beginning of winter. As the winter progresses, sales will increase. However, as the price increases, sales are decreasing. Many people are hesitant about the high price. The goods have to be bought at a higher price, so they are telling the buyers that the price is higher in all the shops.
Jashim Hung and Monir, manufacturers of coated mattresses, said that due to the effect of Coronavirus and the increase in the price of goods, the order for making coated mattresses is a little less this year. Still, they are spending a very busy time working on the moneylenders' orders. Their busyness will increase as winter increases. However, the remuneration they get according to the work is not enough.