SRINAGAR: The demand for skullcaps increases in Kashmir in the month of Ramadan with Valley Muslims preferring items from Muslim countries only.
Skullcaps imported from Indonesia, Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan Afghanistan and Sudan are rage in the Valley.
“Most of the skullcaps are imported from Indonesia, Bangladesh, China Turkey and Pakistan as well. The styles of Afghanistan, Sudan and Spain are also available with cap sellers,” Mohammad Aijaz Shah, a shopkeeper at Rangar Masjid, Bohri Kadal told Kashmir Reader.
“But the demand in the retail market is of Indonesian skullcaps which are cheap, attractive and made of quality fabric,” Shah claimed.
“There is a good demand of Indonesian skullcaps followed by Bangladeshi ones because of their fine quality and attractive patterns,” said Shah, who has impressive range of caps at his shop.
He said traditional Kashmiri caps are passé. Youngsters are more eager to have varied colours and styles of skullcaps, Shah said. “We have a sixty year old cap business. We used to make traditional Kashmiri caps like Bayel toof, Jail Khoni, Alif Daar Fatel Daar and many others. But nowadays these designs are not in vogue so the market for foreign skullcaps increased manifold,” added Shah.
The latest trend in the local market is red Turkey skullcap-Fez-locally known as Rumi cap made up of Japanese velvet.
“This is the latest skull cap that is available this Ramadan. The price ranges from Rs 150-350 per piece. Elder customers mostly like to wear this cap. These new Turkish caps are vertical in shape,” Shah said.
The prices for skullcaps range from Rs 25-450 apiece.
Another shopkeeper, Basharat Ahmad said that sales are not what it used to be.
“The month of Ramadan used to increase our sales, but this year the sales are not as brisk as it were in the past year or so,” Ahmad said.
But he hoped that in coming days the sales will increase. “We used to sell items like caps, miswak or perfumes 50 percent more in this month,” he said.
Mohammad Amin, a vendor at Lal Chowk said that in the past three years the demand for skullcaps has increased. “The designs coming to market these days are eye-catching ones with affordable prices,” Amin said.