IT might be an overlooked trade but it certainly generates income for most families in Vanua Levu.
Tailoring business has become the talk of Labasa Town with more than 10 shops operating on busy schedules every day.
Mabel Deo, a tailor of more than 20 years, said the demand for tailor-made clothes had increased dramatically over the years.
"Customers continue to visit us every day with their clothing materials and we are always busy with our daily job.
"Sometimes, our hands are really tied and we usually inform our customers to look for other tailors in town but they come back only to tell us that they are busy as well," said Mrs Deo.
Another tailor, Kiran Wati said the progress of such businesses had enabled her to put food on the table and cover for other household expenses.
"Most of us have spent more than 20 years in this job and we can only say that it's generating good money because we are still sewing. A lot of people prefer tailor-made clothes to the ready-made ones because it's cheaper and well-sewn," said Mrs Wati.
Labasa Chamber of Commerce vice president Satish Kumar said the business was not only beneficial for the tailors but also the retail shop owners because people bought materials from them.
"It's like a win-win situation where both the tailor and the shop owner benefit from the business," he said.
"This sort of business not only boosts the northern economy but it also creates employment opportunities for at least a few people who can be employed by the tailors."
Mr Kumar said such businesses would be classed as a micro business but it could eventuate into an even bigger one in the future if tailors continued to expand their knowledge and skills.