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Fabrics vendors markets in old Kuwait

KUWAIT: ‘Al-Bazzaz’ is the name of fabrics vendors in old Kuwait, as Kuwaitis also call fabrics as ‘Baz’. Bazzaz is an Arabic-oriented word found in authentic Arabic language dictionaries, known to describe the person working in fabrics sales, and baz as the fabric itself. Kuwaiti heritage researcher Mohammad Abdulhadi Jamal said in his book titled ‘Crafts Professions And Commercial Activities In Old Kuwait’ that Khalil Al-Qattan market or the ‘Jews market’ as it was known for some people then, was the place specialized in fabrics sales in Kuwait.

This was the place until mid of the 20th century, while during 1930s the vendors moved to Al-Rashdan market. The fabrics were imported from India, and later from Europe, and after the end of the Second World War, Japan started to duplicate European fabrics and export them to Kuwait.

The majority of Kuwaitis by then were of medium to low income, a factor that contributed to an occasional purchase of fabrics, unlike rich families. The textiles prices witnessed a radical hike in prices during the Second World War, as there was a drop in the number of exporting ships, especially those coming from India during early 1940s. The Kuwaiti government by then fed the local market with supported-fabrics with reasonable prices, offering every family two pieces of textiles in both summer and winter season until 1947. – KUNA

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