How to Start a Tailoring Business at Home

Nowadays, most women want to do something on their own. The purpose is to earn some money and get involved in some productive work. Those who don’t have a corporate job or don’t work in any firm preferred to start some kind of business at home or in the nearby shopping complex. A woman, who needs to look after her family, can start some kind of home-based business. One good idea is to start a tailoring shop or a boutique (or a small karkhana) at home.

In this post, I will show you how to start a home-based tailoring business.

Stitching machine

The market opportunity for starting a tailoring shop

Let’s see the market opportunity for starting a tailoring business at home.

The apparel market is filled with readymade garments. You will find very few men who wear customized shirts and pants. They don’t need a tailoring shop.

The women's segment is the main market for the tailoring shop. Women love wearing customized and fitted clothes. They buy a lot of readymade garments from a mall or a bazaar. But they need someone to alter the brand new cloth. So they often visit tailors for alteration or custom-fit clothing. Some of the common ladies' clothing products include Kurta, suits, salwar, and kameez. Even garments purchased from the local market must be restitched to avoid seam failure.

During the festival season, many women prefer wearing a saree and designer blouse. When they buy a saree, they need one blouse too. Normally they get a blouse piece with the saree. Again they need a good tailor who can make their blouse custom fit and custom-designed. They need to attach fall to the saree and need to finish both ends of the saree, to stop fraying out of yarns.

In every society and colonies, there is a demand of good tailors. Let me share more interesting opportunity areas. Nowadays in metros and big cities, people are shifting to flats in societies. In such a big society a number of families are living, are enough to start tailoring shop business.

Even though some tailors are already providing tailoring services in your locality, you can start yours. Remember, women always look for better tailoring services. This business is ideal for housewives and females who want to earn money while taking care of their family members.

How much floor space is required for a home based tailoring shop?

Though it depends on number machines and staff, a 100-120 square feet space is enough to start with 2 machines. You can also utilize the vertical space for storing materials.

Knowledge and skill requirement for tailoring business

To run a tailoring business you need some basic skills that include -

  • Knowledge of sewing machine (basic machine) and running a sewing machine
  • Learn garment stitching. Whether you stitch garment yourself or hire a skilled tailor, you should learn the basics of garment stitching, 
  • Body measurement and garment measurement,
  • Learn pattern drafting 
  • Cutting the fabric for garment parts 
  • Learn about fabrics and their properties 
  • Learn about garment fit
  • Take training on tailoring and garment manufacturing and pattern making. A 3-6 months course is enough to start tailoring shop. 
Note: You don’t need to learn stitching work if you get stitching done by a hired tailor.

What kind of machines do you need?

For a tailoring shop, you need at least one black head single needle lock stitch machines and one 3 thread overlock machine (Also called as interlock machine). An interlocking machine is used for edge finish. If you want you can invest in industrial sewing machines too. The price of the black head sewing machine in Amazon store is around Rupees 3500 -6000/-.

You need a table for pattern making, garment measuring, and cloth cutting. A 6 ft x 4 ft table top is ok. If you have small space you can manage it in a 4 x 3.5 square ft table

Also read: Stitching Machines used in Making Kurtis, Salwar Kameez, Ladies Suits in Small Scales Businesses

How do marketing of your services?

You need to tell others about your services. For this print flex banners and display it in the main gate of your house. Wherever possible put your banner ads so that people can see that you exist. If you are living in a society, you can print distribute printed bills/pamphlet door to door.

You can market your services on your Facebook page. Also, create a Whatsapp group and send message time to time if you are giving any offer or have some products to sell.

Know your tools and equipment:

Other than sewing machines and a table, you need to purchase working aids. Refer to the following list.
  • Scissors for cutting fabric
  • Chalk for marking, 
  • Scales and curves, 
  • Measuring tape, 
  • Pattern paper, 
  • Needles
  • Seam opener  
  • Work aids - like special pressure foot for hemming and picot stitch. (Hemming and picot stitch can be done manually)
  • Raw material requirement: Threads and supplies
  • Some hangers, rack, and stands
  • Electric iron 

The business procedure

At the start set up your boutique with the minimum number of machines (2 machines) and equipment.

If you are setting up your workshop at home separate the working space for the machine, working table and store.

Place some rack and stand for keeping work and fabrics

Purchase thread spools of various colors

Purchase some inventory of lining fabrics and accessories. In most cases you need to attach a matching lining to the garment.

Do marketing as much as possible. Print some pamphlets and distribute them in your society. Talk about your services when you meet with other ladies in your society.

Open Facebook page and display designs time to time and discount prices.

Print flex banners and display the banner wherever possible. One banner must be placed at the main gate of your shop/house. Print your mobile/phone number.

Contact 2-3 good tailors for stitching on a contract basis. Have 2-3 alternate tailors on hand. Call one of them in your workshop when you get work in hand. The hired tailor can come and work for 2-3 hours in a day to complete the work. Or you can call them alternative days or once in a week depending on the work. When you will get regular work you call them daily.

Hire a girl or a lady for help on manual works like button and hook attaching, hand stitching etc.

Try to give best services to your customers. Always take care of the customer satisfaction. Remember, your customers will become your invisible sales force.

If you do a good job, the satisfied customer will bring more work to you and tell others about your good services.

Print one price list of different types of work and hang on the wall at the visible location.

Also see: Different types of industrial sewing machines

Rate of common boutique work in India

I have visited some boutiques in the locality where I am living. Following are few rates for your reference (Delhi and NCR).
  • Kurta/dress alteration – Rs. 50
  • Blouse stitching – Rs. 300/- 400/- (Including accessories)
  • Kurta making – Rs. 200 – 250/- (depends on design and inclusion of accessories)
  • Saree fall attaching + pico – Rs. 80-100/-
  • Only Pico – 50/ 
  • Salwar kameez- Rs. 300/- 
Note: The rate for different types of work may vary place to place. 

Business diversification

Always think about expanding your business. When you see your work volume has increased and you can’t deliver all order on time – it is time to purchase one more machine.
If you feel you have the decent number of customers you can start selling readymade clothes like kurta, suit pieces, leggings and ladies innerwear products etc. Though there would not be many sales of these products, you can have some earning.

If you are good at designing, develop some good samples for suits and blouse and put those on display. You can expand your business in customized clothing and designer clothing.

Wish you all the best on your new journey.

Hope you might like this post. Share this post for business idea and guides with your friends.

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Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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  1. Hi There, good article, in addition to the above, try a free website to make perfect blouse patterns, which helps the enterpreneurs to deliver better quality work without additional cost.

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