How to Start a Thobe Business (2024) – Plan, Steps – Guide

If you are passionate about fashion and interested in starting a thobe business, this could be a great option for you.

You have come to the right place.

Thobes are traditional Middle Eastern garments that have gained popularity not only in the region but also worldwide, and they are bringing many opportunities for entrepreneurs.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the essential steps and considerations for starting the business successfully, from market research to branding and marketing strategies.

So, get ready to explore the different aspects of this business and its processes.

Let’s get started!

What is a thobe business?


These are the traditional Arab garments for men; these are made from lightweight, breathable fabrics (cotton or linen).

The reasons why the business could be a good idea in 2024 and beyond are (its growing demand, large market, high-profit margin, and growing online selling).

To know the market growth, you can check out (the Verified Market Research) website to find out how the global Thobe fabric market is growing.

Launching a startup in this field requires strategic planning because every sector is competitive and diverse, so research, planning, and execution are the keys to success.

What are Thobes?

Do you know what a thobe is? It is (also spelled thawb, tobe, Kandura, or dishdasha) and is an ankle-length robe, usually with long sleeves.

Thobe Is a traditional garment worn by men in many Arab countries, including the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, North Africa, and some countries in East and West Africa.

They come in different types of designs, sizes, colors, fabrics, etc.

Where they’re worn?

Most men wear thobes in many countries across the Middle East, North Africa, and some parts of South Asia.

It is a traditional garment of Muslims; this is their cultural clothing or style, primarily it is for Islamic culture.

Countries where Thobe is popular:

  • Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman
  • Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Palestine
  • North Africa: Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco
  • East and West Africa: Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea

Different names of Thobe in different Arab countries:

  • Dishdasha (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen)
  • Galabeya (Egypt)
  • Thawb (Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Palestine)
  • Jubba (Somalia, Ethiopia)
  • Kandura (United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman)

If you live in those countries, then it can be easy to understand the local market and related information about product trends.

Also, living in a country where you sell those products gives you direct exposure to the local market, and you can get an idea of different cultures, values, and consumer preferences.

Step By Step Guide on How to Start a Thobe Business

thobe business

1. Do an in-depth market research.

For a successful thobe business, the first thing that you need to do is market research and competitive analysis.

You may be new to those things, and you must have some questions like (what is market research, how to conduct it, what are the important factors, etc).

Market research is the process of identifying target customers and analyzing the competition, market trends, and demand; it helps to understand the market better, which is crucial for every entrepreneur.

Why is market research important?

Research is a vital part of creating a proper plan according to the market demand and trends and considering the competitive advantage.

So here are some points, why it is important for your thobe business:

To know the: –

  • Customer insights
  • Competitive advantage
  • New opportunities
  • Risk management
  • Targeted marketing
  • Product improvement

No matter how much you want to invest in this startup, the thing is to research and properly plan your business.

Your research and researched information will help you to make your decision better to optimize your product according to the market trends and demand.

When you conduct research, consider the points:

  • Define your target market or customer: Muslim men, modest men, stylish men, Middle Eastern men, travelers to the Middle East, religious men, and wedding guests.
  • Identify your competitors: Local Thai shops, online retailers, wholesalers, etc.
  • Analyze the market trends: Popular styles, fabrics, colors, and fashion trends.
  • Research the pricing strategies: Average price points, discounts, and promotions.
  • Understand the distribution channels: Online, offline, or both?
  • Evaluate the marketing strategies: Social media, online ads, influencer marketing, branding, online presence, website, print ads, word-of-mouth, etc.

Find out your competitors, who are the existing manufacturers, sellers, and wholesalers in the market. Analyze their product, colors, patterns, customer reviews, pricing, and other relevant things.

For quick research, visit Amazon and other e-commerce platforms. Other methods are social media, forums, industry-relevant websites, etc.

You can use the resources for analyzing the market:

  • Online databases: Search for market research data.
  • Google TrendsTo know the online market trends and searches.
  • E-Commerce sites: Analyze the high-selling products and designs.
  • Government agencies: Get data from the government.
  • Trade associations: Find data from industry groups.
  • Consulting firms: Hire experts to help you.

Use the sources properly to conduct your research.

Additionally, you can collect market-related information from the local market by connecting with potential consumers and industry-specific businesses.

2. Select the right business model.

Before setting up the line, first decide your business model and how you want to organize your venture (online, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, dropshipping, even custom designing line).

It depends on your market, demand, location, competition, online selling opportunity, etc. You can select a niche focusing on customer demographics (Age, Gender, Income, Location, etc.)

Here are the business ideas:

  • Manufacturing business
  • Open a retail thobe store
  • Desing and sell thobe
  • Dropshipping thobes
  • Start an online store
  • Wholesale business

Every business model process, requirements, resources, and target market can be different, so carefully consider all business models and then select the suitable one.

Focus on the target market (local or global); if local, then you can set up a retail or small tailoring business, but targeting a large customer base requires more resources and planning.

To target a global audience, you can set up an online store, create a manufacturing line, and sell Thobe in bulk to wholesalers.

Factors that you need to consider for selecting a business model:

  • Target market: Identify your target Market – consider their age, location, income level, and interests.
  • Your budget: How much money do you have to invest? Some niches, such as manufacturing thobes, require a higher investment than others, in case you go with another business model (such as retail, wholesale, resale, etc).
  • Your skills: If you are not good at sewing, you can hire staffing, but to start from zero skill without developing any new products, then you may want to focus on a niche that does not require sewing, such as selling thobes online by buying from a manufacturer.
  • Competition: Analyze the competition in your area; if there is a lot of competition, you may need to find a less crowded niche.
  • Market demand: Focus on niche markets, fashion trends, seasons, special events, and religious holidays when demand may be higher.
  • Passion: The most important is your passion and the interest for success.

3. Develop a Thobe business plan.

business planning

Create a detailed plan for your business that outlines your vision, goals, target market, competition analysis, and financial projections.

Make sure always to include your strategies, target customers, product, pricing strategy, marketing and sales tactics, financial projections, and growth opportunities.

For building a strong foundation, writing a business plan is most important, including all the given steps and points.

  • Executive Summary: In this section, briefly summarize your business mission, goals, target market, and key success factors.
  • Product Description: Clearly write about what type of Thobe you want to sell, its features, designs, material, functionality, and pricing, with a Unique selling proposition.
  • Business model: Choose a model for launching your product in the market, such as owning your manufacturing line or outsourcing to other manufacturers.
  • Niche: Focus on a specific group of people, such as athletes, musicians, or people with dreadlocks, who are eligible to wear Thobe because it is a religious product.
  • Design: Offer unique designs that will set your business apart from the competition.
  • Production plan: Finding suppliers for raw materials, manufacturing processes, quality control, etc.
  • Materials: Use high-quality materials and offer different integrity of products.
  • Colors and patterns: Choose different types of colors and patterns to attract a wider range of customers.
  • Financial projection: Calculate your startup costs, expenses, fundraising plan, and ongoing expenses.
  • Marketing: Promote through online marketing, social media, and word-of-mouth.

Follow the (U.S. Small Business Administration) guide to learn the basics of writing a business plan and its process.

4. Set up a dedicated workspace.

First thing, you need a dedicated space to create and manage your Thobe business in an organized way (for manufacturing, packaging, marketing, inventory, etc).

This could be a spare room in your house, a small workshop, or even a rented studio.

Choose a good location or workspace where you can set up your thobe business.

No matter what your business model (online, production, wholesale, or retail), an organized, clean workspace is important to work efficiently.

Consider the given points when selecting a workspace:

  • Size: Big enough for inventory and equipment.
  • Location: Easy to find, close to target market.
  • Cost: Fits budget and needs.
  • Parking: Ample parking or close to public transportation.
  • Security: Protect inventory and equipment.
  • Utilities: Factor in the cost of electricity, water, and gas.

5. Manufacturing thobes (in-house or outsourcing)

You can make these in-house or outsource ready-made products from a manufacturer. Both business models require different resources, supplies, and budgets.

Manufacturing (in-house or setting up a dedicated space):

  • Making thobes requires proper design skills, tailoring skills, raw materials, supplies, and sewing machinery.
  • You can develop your designs according to your target market and focus on consumer preferences.
  • Setting up a manufacturing setup requires significant investment, including dedicated space, staffing, and inventory.

Make your Thobe to Sell – where to learn

With all your materials in place, start creating Thobes.

The process of making a Thobe (fabric selection, creating a sewing pattern, cutting the fabric, sewing the product, final touch, and the product is ready).

It sounds like a simple procedure, but it requires proper skills and resources (warehouse, raw material, sewing machine, working staff).

So, the process of making a thobe can be difficult, especially for beginners.

To learn the making process as a beginner, you can take a few steps:

  • Take a class: There are many sewing and tailoring classes available both online or offline; find them and join their class.
  • Find a mentor: You can find in your local area someone who sews or tailors thobes; they can guide you about the skills.
  • Watch tutorials: Many online tutorials are available on YouTube; also, you can check out blogs, search on Google for “how to make thobe,” and learn the basics.
  • Practice makes perfect: No matter where you will learn, after knowing the basics, self-practice is most important to improve your sewing skills.

The best places where you can find mentors, courses, or tutorials:

  • Local sewing and tailoring schools
  • Online sewing and tailoring programs or courses
  • Online to make tutorials
  • Join the making workshop

You can either sew them yourself if you have the skills, or you might want to hire skilled tailors to assist you.

It depends on your choice, for a successful business, a reliable workforce is important for producing thobe in a large quantity (no matter custom or normal product).

Find suppliers for buying equipment and raw materials for production:

  • It is important for creating high-quality Thobes and for buying raw materials, tools, and machines.
  • Look for fabric suppliers that offer a variety of quality fabrics like cotton, linen, or silk, depending on your niche.
  • As well as, You might also need buttons, threads, and other sewing supplies.
  • Identify trustworthy suppliers, and also you can buy online ( from Amazon or eBay).

Some things should be considered when finding the right supplier:

  • Quality: Focus on high-quality thobes.
  • Price: Compare the prices and competitive prices of different suppliers.
  • Delivery time: Ask them for delivery supplies on time and in good condition.
  • Payment terms: Set flexible and convenient payment terms.
  • Communication: Communicate with the supplier and negotiate the best price.
  • Reputation: The supplier should be reputed and reliable.

Raw materials and supplies

Now that you have found your suppliers, it’s time to stock up on raw materials and supplies.

Purchase the fabrics, buttons, threads, and any other materials you need in bulk.

So, first, estimate how much budget you want to invest in raw materials, prepare a proper budget, and list all the equipment, materials, and tools needed for making a thobe.

  • Raw materials: Fabric, thread, zippers, buttons, embellishments.
  • Equipment: Sewing machine, overlocker, iron, cutting table, measuring tape, scissors, pins, needles.
  • Machines: Embroidery machine, beading machine, sequin machine.
  • Tools: Pattern, chalk, tailor’s chalk, measuring gauge.

On the other hand, you can start with (wholesale, retail, and online business), Buying ready-made Thobe in bulk and then selling them in the market at a high price (adding to your profit margin).

It depends on market pricing, competition, quality of the product, and designs.

Find reliable suppliers (outsourcing)

To outsource Thobe products from a manufacturer or supplier, you can follow the given steps.

  • Outsourcing thobes to sell in the market by creating a retail or online store is a great idea.
  • This type of business model does not require much investment or a manufacturing setup.
  • Anyone can easily buy products from a manufacturer and sell them by creating a killer marketing strategy.
  • However, a reliable supplier or manufacturer connection is essential to start in this line, as you cannot control the quality, design, color, or pattern of the products.
find reliable suppliers

After determining the pros and cons, decide which business model is the right fit for you.

Let’s discuss some steps to find the right supplier and the requirements for manufacturing.

To find a manufacturer, supplier, wholesaler, distributor, or even retailer, follow these steps: Research on Google, online directories, e-commerce marketplaces, and online domestic directories.

You can use Google search to find local or nearby suppliers or manufacturers; spy on the search bar “Thobe manufacturer near me.”

Once you search, check out the outcome information. Visit their official websites and social media, and check out the customer reviews, product types, supplier facilities, and everything.

thobe manufacturer near dubai google map

Here are some places where you can find industry-related information (supplier, manufacturer, product, trends, consumer preference, etc).

  • Trade shows and industry events
  • Online directories and marketplaces: Tradekey, Global Sources, Alibaba, Amazon, etc.
  • Industry publications and websites: Textile World, Apparel News, Fashion United, Textile Insight, Just Style, etc.
  • Social Media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

6. Branding and packaging

To sell your Thobe in the market, it require unique packaging. You can showcase the product differently in the market so that it stands out from the market competition.

Think about your brand – what makes your Thobes special?

Create a captivating logo, choose a color scheme, and design labels or tags for your products; invest in attractive and eco-friendly packaging for your brand.

You can use packaging material such as:

  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Polyester
  • Silk
PaperLightweight and inexpensiveInexpensive
PlasticMore durable than paperMore expensive than paper
Corrugated cardboardStrong and protectiveMore expensive than paper
PolyesterLightweight, durable, and wrinkle-resistantMore expensive than paper
SilkLuxurious and softMost expensive

7. Obtain licenses and permits

The legal side of things is crucial.

Depending on your location and the scale of your business, you might need permits and licenses to operate legally.

Contact your local government to find out what’s required.

  • Business registration
  • Environmental laws permit
  • Tax Identification Number
  • Sales Tax Permit

For more detailed information, check out the guide: Legal Requirements for Business.

8. Website and business name

Now, let’s go online.

Come up with a catchy and memorable business name that reflects your Thobe brand.

Check if the domain name for your website is available and register it.

Your website is your online storefront, so invest time and effort into making it visually appealing and user-friendly.

To create a professional website, some steps you need to follow:

  • Step 1: Choose a domain name
  • Step 2: Buy hosting
  • Step 3: Set up your website
  • Step 4: Create essential pages
  • Step 5: Promote your website

You can use platforms like Shopify or WordPress to set up your online store.

9. Build an online presence.

If you want to attract worldwide customers, then go online and create a website and social media profiles to promote your business.

In the age of digital marketing, it is essential to build an online presence for every business.

Social media marketing is the free and most effective way to create a strong online presence, so learn the process and start your business online.

You can build your online presence using these methods:

  • Create a website
  • Optimize your website for search engines
  • Use social media
  • List your products on online marketplaces
  • Run paid advertising campaigns

10. How to sell your Thobe

selling online

If you are looking to sell Thobes, then there are various platforms available, such as online and offline (Social media, e-commerce marketplace, own website, Islamic clothing store, Local Stores, Wholesaling, Dropshipping, etc.).

So, It is important to highlight their unique features and appeal to your target audience.

Where can you sell Thobe?

  • Online marketplaces: eBay, Amazon, Etsy
  • By creating your E-commerce website
  • Sell on social media: Instagram and Facebook
  • You can sell on Islamic clothing marketplaces
  • Local retail stores

Hope this method can help you to market and sell your Thobe both online and offline.

Final thought

Selling Thobe Is a profitable and growing opportunity, so research and utilize digital platforms to build your brand in the market; both online and offline marketing are powerful; it depends on your goal and strategies.

Hopefully, these tips and information about Thobe’s business will help you on your journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur and setting up the business from scratch.

We have discussed the essential steps that can be useful for a new business to start.

If you still have any questions, then comment to us.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about Thobe’s selling business guide.

Why do Muslims wear thobes?

Muslims wear thobes for many reasons, but the most important is that it is their traditional and modest form of clothing that aligns with Islamic principles of modesty and simplicity.

What is the origin of the word Thobe?

The word “thobe” likely originates from the Arabic word “thawb,” which means “garment” or “clothing.”

What is the Arabic word for Thobe?

The Arabic word is “thawb” (ثوب), which means “garment.”

What is the difference between Jubba and Thobe?

Differences between Jubba and Thobe:
Jubba: Long, loose-fitting robe. It can be more decorative than Thobe.
Thobe: Ankle-length robe with long sleeves.
Still, In some regions, the terms Jubba and Thobe are used interchangeably.

How much does it cost to start a Thobe business?

The cost to start a Thobe business depends on (fabric, materials, equipment, workforce, marketing, legal, insurance, and, most importantly, business model – wholesale, retail, online, or manufacturing).
So, it is difficult to estimate the accurate budget; according to your location and raw material availability, the initial investment can be different.

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