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Looking for a Sikh Patka that lasts a long time?

I grew up wearing a Patka like most Sikh boys.  Patka for those who don’t know what it is, is a head covering usually worn by Sikh boys to cover their hair (Kesh). Sikhs are required to cover their hair as a sign of respect for our Guru.

Most of the patkas we bought, were bought from small vendors outside Gurudwaras.  My usual color was black, it was what we wore to school.  I am sure we had at least 4-5 colors of patkas.

The problem with these patkas was that they were made from fabric that was not good. To top that, the strings would break within a couple of months.  My mother would stitch them back only to find the other string would rip the Patka from the other side.

fast forward 2 decades and we started selling patkas from the market and I soon realized that the quality of the Patka and the stitching was poor at best.

Gosikh.com team decided to acquire the best rubia Patka cloth and make our own patkas.

In the last 10 years, no Patka has come back damaged to us.  To add to that accomplishment, most parents don’t have to buy more than the 5-10 patkas they do buy from us.

the Gosikh patkas have strings that are double stitched and the strings are 12 inches in length.

The cloth material is Rubia cloth that is the thick material needed for patkas.

The patkas come in 3 sizes:

Small: 21″ x 21″

Medium : 24″ x 24″

Large: 27″ x 27″

the size above does now include the string size, just the square Patka size.

We hope that you will give the Sikh patkas we make, a chance.  We offer 100% money back guarantee.

We look forward to serving you and being part of your child’s daily wear.

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Kundalini Yoga Turban, which one should I buy?

You are into Kundalini yoga and you are ready to wear a Turban.   Congratulations on making this choice.  We are happy you found GoSikh.com, we sell turbans to people of all faiths and practices.

You looked through the Turban section of our store and saw a lot of choices.  

Confused? Don’t know which one you should buy?  Let me try and guide you.

Here are some starting points:

  1.  Ask your Yoga teacher, what they wear?  They might have a stash of turbans that they can offer you to choose from, this might save you time and perhaps money.
  2. Ask someone in your yoga class that wears an amazing turban.  They might help you.
  3. If all else fails, I would suggest F74 white turban, it is light and breathable and will be perfect for your yoga needs.
  4. F74 is available in a few colors but mostly folks wear white.
  5. If you want something heavier than F74, try full voile
  6. if you want something heavier than full voile, try Rubia.

if you have a lot of hair and you tie it into a top knot, try 4 meters.

If you have less hair, then 3 meters should suffice.

hope this helps, send me an email through Gosikh AT gmail

i wish you my best and I hope you will give us a chance to serve you with your turban needs.

We also sell Kurti or Tunics for women and men.

 

 

 

 

 

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Turban care – How do I make a Turban last a few years

Sangat Jio,

I have Turbans that have lasted me a decade or more, yes, they are on their last leg and I refuse to part with them (yes, i am sentimental).

Here are some basic steps to make the Turban last longer:
1. Hand wash them in cold water.
2. Air Dry them, preferably in the shade and not direct sunshine.
3. Avoid Sunshine (yes, the main culprit) as much as possible.
4. Sweat and Sunshine can cause loss of color.
5. Avoid high heat dryers.
6. If you can avoid, please avoid making a hole in the Turban when you snug your salai in your Turban.

We hope that your Turban will last long and the color will stay strong.

Please note: Some colors fade faster than other colors, that is just the way things work.

Thanks for giving us a chance to serve.
GoSikh.com team.

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What are the different types of Turban material?

This is a good question.

We at GoSikh.com, sell many types of Turban Material and I will list them by weight (lightest first):

F74*
Mul Mul*
Silk
Full Voile*
Rubia*

F74 and Mul Mul are very close in weight but not in thread count. F74 has less thread count when compared to Mul Mul. Both are used for Dumalla.

Silk is used by very few folks and mainly used for special events. It is pure silk and thus more expensive compared to other materials.

Full Voile is the regular Turban material most Sikhs use.

Rubia is the heaviest of all material and is the same cloth used to make Patkas.

All materials marked with an “*” are made of 100% cotton.

If you are curious of what length of Turban should you choose, please read that blog entry further down. If you have any questions, email me, leaving a comment here might not get you a quick reply.

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US Postal Service raises International Mailing Rates by 45-80%

WaheGuru Ji Ka Khalsa
WaheGuru Ji Ki Fateh

On Jan 27th, 2013. USPS increased their rates to help balance their deficit. The increase in rates within US were very small, the majority of the increase fell on International mailing.

ScreenHunter_77 Feb. 20 16.00

As you can see from the table above,  I got this from stamps.com website.  The right column is 2012 rate and left column is 2013 rate.   Rates to Canada jumped up 80%, rates to Mexico jumped up 60%, other countries jumped up 40%

A 3 meter Turban used to cost us ~$9 dollars to mail from California to UK, that is now up to ~$12 dollars.  Similarly, a small Turban to Australia now costs $12+ in mailing.

This is a huge shock to us as a majority of our Sangat is in other countries.   We are trying our best to find other sources of mailing but USPS is by far the cheapest for overseas/International shipping.

We are requesting All International Customers to please make sure that the mailing charges you pay, Shipping + Taxes > $12 for the smallest order. We need to have a $12 minimum shipping charge for 1 Turban orders or we will have to request more monies from you.

A temporary solution is to go to the Invoice and check what you are slated to pay and then going to the “Contact Us” page and adding additional Mailing charges to the shopping cart.

We are really Sorry but we cannot eat $4-6 per order for small orders. We have to pass most of this increase along to you.

We are going to work on this in the near future, not sure how we can lower the mailing charges but all brain power is being applied.

Thanks for your continued support.

Please note: The rate change only affects those who order 1 Turban or 1 set of Patkas from Non-US cities.  We base cost of mailing outside US is gone up but it averages out if you buy 2 or more Turbans.   So, please anticipate future needs and order 2 items, this way, you don’t have to pay $12 mailing for each of those two items, if ordered separately.

Guri Singh

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1984 Sikh genocide and what it means to me today

Indira Gandhi, the prime minister of India, was just killed and there was a curfew in Bombay.  Shops were closed, no traffic on the street, not much was going on.  Most of the kids were playing cricket on the streets as there was no traffic.   What do 10-14 year old kids know about the killing of the prime minister and how does it impact us.

I clearly remember playing cricket with my friends in Bandra, Bombay and my mother getting worried sick.  There were no cell phones then, and waiting is what a mother can do.  My younger brother was in Delhi visiting my grandparents for a reason I don’t recall.

We did not have direct truck dialing to Delhi, we had to book a call, calls used to be expensive those days.  My mother learned about what happened in Delhi, a day or two after the genocide.  Our family in Delhi was renting a 2nd floor of someone’s bungalow, while their bungalow was being built.   The family living below them on ground floor is Hindu family.  The information I have is, that a bunch of thugs (no religious denomination stated here) came to the bungalow knowing that there was a Sikh family living upstairs.  The Hindu family below had gathered some of their family members and armed themselves with Talwars (swords) and were ready to give up their lives for the Sikhs living upstairs.

This story resonated in many parts of India, many families were spared their lives because of people of other faiths.  However, Thousands of Sikh men, young and old died the days following Mrs. Gandhi’s death.

The Genocide that occurred was purely a political event, Hindu’s did not wake up suddenly and start hating Sikhs.  Politicians in India, until today, have not bought the instigators of the Genocide to justice.  Even with a Sikh Prime Minister at the helm of India, Sikh women, wives, daughters, sisters and friends have not got any justice.

It is true that I think about the Genocide around October and November of every year.  None of my family members were hurt or killed in 1984, which is a blessing, and it is due to this fact alone that I really don’t know the pain that Sikh women who lost their family member, go through.

The arrival of Diwali and then X’mas holidays quickly blankets/covers the Sikh Genocide and it is quick forgotten, until the next year and the cycle continues.

The Genocide that occurred in 1984 in Delhi and other parts of India, shortly after the death of Indira Gandhi needs to be identified by the world, including India as a Genocide.  The rules and laws of India need to be changed and followed to the “T” and all those who took part in the genocide and all those who instigated others to kill Sikhs need to be bought to justice.

That includes Jagdish Tytler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagdish_Tytler) and Amitabh Bachchan (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-10-20/india/30302488_1_criminal-code-act-1995-sikh-riots-jagdish-kaur).

The sad reality is that the Indian Government failed not only Sikhs but most of the minority groups in India.  No one is safe there, certainly not the Sikhs.  If a government can let politicians responsible for instigating Sikh Genocide walk free, then there is no HOPE left for the Sikhs in India.

Every October & November, I will remember the pictures and the documentaries I have seen.  I will also remember how I went from an innocent Sikh boy playing cricket to one that absolutely detests the Indian government and system for helping those that caused the Sikh Genocide to get away.

My hands are not tied, I will continue to voice my opinion on blogs, through newsletters and someday, the truth shall prevail and justice will be served, sadly the day might come very late.

I am proud of my Sikh sisters and brothers who use the power of words and pictures to create awareness of what happened in 1984.  To many this is a forgotten and forgiven event, but to the 1000s that are widows and daughters without fathers and brothers, they cannot forget.

The Sikh Women who continue to suffer want justice for the Genocide in 1984.

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Being a Sikh in America

I have lived in the US since 1989, it will be 23 years next month.  Wow! time flies.  I still remember my flight into a small town in Iowa a week before my freshmen year started.

Yes, i did not go to high school here and thus cannot relate to the teasing and name calling that happens to so many of our Sikh brothers and sisters in high school.

I can however relate to the same as I had my fair share of name calling in college.   Yes, there were days I wanted to fit in.  I wanted to not stand out with my patka.  I wanted to have a girlfriend just like any other college student.   I wanted to be a cool like Rico Suave.  Oh! there were days I wish I was not a Sikh.

I have to say that by my sophomore year, most of the people who called me names had attended a class with me or had a common friend.  I was cool on campus because I had a BMX and I had skates, that made me as American as the other kid.   With every year on campus, I knew more and more people and more of the college kids knew me.

The Persian Gulf war had started and that bought out the worst in some people in Iowa and I did feel it.   However, for many a reasons, I stayed with my faith.

I tried my best to fit in.  However, I soon realized that I don’t need to fit in.  I was not born to fit in.  I was born to stand out and be unique and have be alcohol free ever since the few sips that I did have.

I believe it is hard to be a Sikh in USA, especially one that wears a Turban.   It takes a lot of will power and dedication to commit yourself to the Sikh faith.

To all my sisters and brothers that wear a Turban everyday,  I am proud of you and I get my courage from you as well.   Stay on the path.

I love USA, it is here that I can be my true self.  The Oak Creek Gurudwara shooting was very hard on our community but we are fighters.   We will get up and continue on our journey as Singhs and Kaurs.   Be it 84 or now 8/5, we will stay the course and be good Sikhs.

I am also proud of our community for not reciprocating or hurting anyone because of the events this past Sunday.  I know there is Anger but I hope you will channel it to improve not only our community but the broader community we are part of.

Chardi Kala,

Guri

 

 

 

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Spending on marketing, is it worth it? how much money should be spent?

A few things are clear:

  • Marketing works, especially when no one has heard about your business.
  • Marketing is expensive

As nothing in life is free, marketing costs money.  I am constantly trying to balance the amount spent on marketing v/s spending the money on a good cause.

I can easily funnel $100 a month more on Google Ads, will it result in more sales, perhaps but there are no guarantees.  So, what is the right amount a small business should spend on marketing? should it be 5% of your monthly sales, 10%? 15%.  It seems there are no right answers.

Lessons learned:

  • We recently turned off our facebook ads, they were no effective and the money was being thrown in some bucket.
  • We are trying not to be greedy, we spend a little and we donate a little, it is a good balance for us.
  • If you serve your customers with the best service you can give and you are treating them well, that is the best you can do for your business and reputation.  We like to treat everyone with the same respect and courtesy, irrespective of the order size. 

We will try and switch off Google Ads for a month to see if there is any effect, I doubt it but it will be a good experiment.

Any thoughts, please email us.

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finding love

As each part of my soul was cut
I could not believe the amount of hurt
I was causing

A part of me died
A new part of me came alive
I could now be attractive
I could now find love

Why are you looking at me like this?
It is the same me
just a bit more normal
Do you like me?

Hi! Beautiful
My name is Gee Singh
What is your name?
Can i buy you a drink?

A part of me is still dead
but the women love the new me
You have to agree that I look amazing
I am now attractive
I can now find love

The Guru will understand
that I am this new amazing man.
I know I caused a lot of hurt
all this pain so I can find love

My friends cannot understand
why I have a new do.
it is the same me
just a bit more normal

The new me is dashing
I look and smell good everyday
I am attractive
Soon, I hope to find love

*** this whatever was written in 3 mins after I saw a picture of a Sikh sitting in a barber’s chair after his Kesh was cut ***

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I will NOT remove my Kara at any Airport {period}

My Kara is like my best friend, it has not left my wrist for more than 2 decades.  It is my 3rd Kara (in this life time).   Now that I think of it, I have know my Kara longer than most of my friends.

I wanted to give you all an update on how often I have removed my Kara at Airport Security since 2001, the answer is ONE (that is one to many times).  I cannot recall when exactly I did it but it was in the last couple of years.  As soon as I took off the Kara and put it in the x-ray machine and walked across the human machine (without a beep), I knew I had done something wrong.

I separated from a part of me to avoid secondary screening.  Now, every time I go through security and the machine beeps, I get asked by TSA agent *fair question btw*:

“Can you take off that bangle?”

to that I always reply:

“No, I will not”

“MALE ASSIST”
*I am so used it it by now, that when I don’t beep, I wonder if the machine is broken*

I must have flown at least 100+ times since 9/11 and I am happy to report that I have not been asked to remove my Turban, even once.

So, I pledge to myself that going forward, I will not separate my Kara from my wrist.  NOT for Security nor for convenience,

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My home away from home.

I have so much to say.

Much to say about the Occupiers, yes, I believe I am one of them.
Much to say about our Faith, yes, I am a Sikh.
Much to say about the US economy, yes, I am as much an American as anyone else here.
Much to say about the world, yes, I am a world citizen.

I recently read that, and I paraphrase,
Religion is for those that don’t want to go to hell.
Spirituality is for those that have been to hell.

It is very important to believe and have faith. Believe in something, anything, any power, any idol. It is the best thing you can do for your Soul.

Having said that, I wanted to write and say thanks to all those Sikh brothers and sisters that have been kind to me when I visited Gurudwaras along the way.

I had the chance to visit some Gurudwaras in Europe,
Kobenhaven, Amsterdam, and Paris. The pictures I can share are here:
Danmark: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1926606977854.104996.1622570617&type=1&l=d1c699f3cc
Holland: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2064326500756.109756.1622570617&type=1&l=18e6cb7318

I have to add that visiting a Gurudwara in any part of the world is like coming home. I am not judged, I am not discriminated against. I am welcome to stay as long as I want. I get Guru ka Langar and that is one of the best meals I have when I am on the road.

I hope 2012 is a wonderful year for you all.

My best,
Guri ‘GoSikh’ Singh

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Who did the most damage? Can I really blame anyone?

I have to start of by saying that I am one of the lucky souls who is able to go from Almere, Netherlands to Berkeley, California to Ninh Binh, Vietnam in a matter of weeks. I have an urge to travel and see the world and this dream is come true due to circumstances in my life. Lets just say I am making tasty lemonade everyday.

Being a Turban adorning Sikh, I wear my Turban everyday I work, travel or go out. I am so used to wearing my Turban that I don’t even think any of it. In the past few months, I have had a chance to live in Denmark and Netherlands and also visit Paris, a few cities in Vietnam and Singapore.

It is interesting how I am treated in different situations. The interactions I have with people in Denmark is certainly
different than the interactions I have with someone at a train station in Vietnam. Some of this depends upon me the person
and some of it depends upon my appearance.

I have to say that the damage that the media has done to Sikhs, probably unintentionally, is far greater than any one person. On my recent visit to Vietnam, almost everyone made a comment that I looked like Bin Laden. Sadly, some of my local friends could not do anything about this as well. My lack of the Vietnamese language
created a communication gap for me. My friends could not pick an argument with every other local, so they suffered as I did.

I started to wonder why people were making these comments. It is clear that on this trip to Vietnam, I did go to smaller
towns and cities. Most of these people have not seen a Turban wearing Sikh before. Their only image of a person wearing a Turban
is Bin Laden. So, should I blame Bin Laden for wearing a headwear? Should I blame the media for showing his image on TV?
I think blaming someone or some entity will not solve the problem.

I passed by these small towns and I did talk to some locals in English and some of them now know that I am Indian and I am Sikh but the majority do not know that. I know I cannot solve this in one go but hopefully I educated a few people along the way.

It is fair to state that I did not get anyone to look twice in Saigon or Hanoi, so people living in big cities are used to seeing Sikhs.
I was wondering if there was a Sikh community in Saigon, as there is one in every big city in this world. I was looking out my 4th floor hostel window and thinking the very fact and suddenly I noticed that there was a GurSikh drying his clothes in the balcony of his 4th floor apartment building across from mine. Just as I was about to yell out to him, he had made his way back into his apartment. I was filled with joy, as if I had found a hidden treasure. I made my way down to the ground floor and traced his building entrance only to find that the ground floor was a massage parlor, ok! don’t assume anything. I asked the ladies if I could talk to Mr. Singh on 4th floor but they probably thought I needed a 4hr massage.
I think his apartment had a different entrance and I could not get hold of this GurSikh.

I did muster up some strength and finally wore my White Turban in Hanoi. Yes, some comments came flying but most people in Hanoi did not care or comment. My friend who was also in Hanoi visiting from Europe, did not feel any awkwardness and we proceeded to have a good visit in Hanoi.

Vietnam is a great country to visit. At no point did I feel threatened or unsafe. Vietnamese people are kind and humble. Most will help you if you ask them for help. My visit was a roller coaster of a visit, one day I had 3 young ladies follow me around in a temple because they knew I was Indian (thanks to Hindi Films)
and one of them said “I love you” as she clearly had a mini crush (one that many have had when they see a foreigner) on me. I got a chance to teach them how to say “I love you” in Hindi and
Punjabi. The next day, I had a mother and daughter make fun of me in the train cabin that we shared with an older gentleman. They were annoying to say the least but I held my ground and did not
say anything mean to them. The only saving grace at that time was my Ipod and the fact that a young lady told me “I love you” yesterday. Everything bad that happened to me pales in comparison to the
many good things that I went through on this trip.

I got a chance to spend 4 days with my friend Nam and her family in Danang, that had to be the highlight of my visit to Vietnam. A chance to eat local food with locals is a dream come
true for any visitor.

I hope to go back to Vietnam in the near future and visit the Hanoi and Sapa area. I know the next visit will be better. I will be equipped with some translated text that I can share with
locals about Sikhi.

Hen Gap Lai

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The Gurus did not want a Golden Temple

* I know this will raise some eye brows *

Our Golden temple is revered and loved by one and all, not just Sikhs. It is open to all and as it should be, everyone is welcome to visit, stay, eat and pray.

I do feel that somewhere along the way, HarMandir Sahib became more of an ornament in the Sikh empire than a temple. We lost the humility that we should maintain.

Instead of covering the temple with Gold, the Gurudwara committee should make sure:
1. No Sikh should go hungry (anywhere in the world)
2. No Sikh widow should live in poor conditions
3. Every Sikh student should have a right to go to school and should have the finances provided to do so.

I want to end this short note with one small comment,
Our Gurus did not ask for a Gurudwara of Gold.

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anger

Anger
Your anger towards me is not justified.
It is not my fault I cannot recognize you as one of us.
don’t be mad at me for not greeting you on the road
or the airport.
I am not here to judge you.
I am not in your shoes.
However, Your anger towards me is not justified.

* this is something I wrote after running into some Sikhs who don’t look like me. Do note that I am not saying they are not Sikhs.

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Your First Turban, how many meters should it be?

Satnam Jio,

It is an honor to serve someone their first Turban.   You might be a practicing Sikh,  starting your journey as a Sikh, or someone who is getting one for another purpose, in either case you will be wearing a sacred piece of cloth that reminds you of being a Sikh.

How long should your Turban be?

let me start with my stats:  I am small to medium build and I am 5 feet 9.5 inches in height *yeah! I can use every little bit of height advantage I can get* and I wear a 4 meter and a 5 meter Turban.

If you are new to Sikhi and are growing your Kesh *hair*, then a 2-3 meter Turban will be a good start.  As your hair gets longer and you can make a Jhoorah *hair bun* then you can consider a Turban of longer length. The width of the Turban is ~1 meter, which is fixed for Adult Turban (the width is 1/2 for Kids Turbans)

We usually sell Turbans in the length of 3-7 meters, where 2 and 8+ meters are rarely.

The color is of course something you connect with.  I have to tell you that I have a Turban of almost every color imaginable,  I love to coordinate Turban colors.   My favorite will always remain White.

Material choices,  we sell F74 (lightest), Full Voile (medium) and Rubia (thickest).  The lightest material has less thread count.   The material gets softer the longer you wear it.  Some of the favorite Turbans are those that I have had for years, they are soft and wrinkle free for some reason.

Please feel free to contact me at gosikh a-t gmail with any questions.

Please note: That you can always get a Turban one meter bigger than you need, easy to cut the 1 meter cloth than to get a Turban that is short (cannot add a meter easily)

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We cannot help everyone, but we can definitely try

I started GoSikh.com a few years ago to do Seva.  My task was to serve the Sikh community.  This pet project has since grown and we serve many communities including the Islamic community here and abroad.

I have also been lucky in the sense that I have always had another way of making enough money to pay my bills.  so, in essence any profit made from GoSikh was money we could invest back in the business or donate.

We love to donate,  that is something I got from my maternal side of the family.   I know, I know, donating is more for our satisfaction than for the end cause.  There is some truth to that but we love donating in either case.

At any given time, there are sooooo many calamities and so many causes that are worthy of our donation.  I have a hard time balancing it all out.   On one hand there are natural or man made disasters that need immediate attention and then there is world hunger.  There are homeless and hungry people right in our own backyard.

I have recently been following water.org and what they do.  They are providing clean water wells or technologies to rural parts of the world.

It is sad that we cannot help everyone that needs help but we can try our best.

we are blessed to be given a chance to make a difference in the Sikh community around the world and it is a privilege to take the money we make and donate it to a worthy cause.

We will do our best to find a cause every month that we will focus on and donate a % of our monthly sales to that cause.   However, we will continue to support past causes as we go forward.   I think I need help with just managing all of this effort.  *hint: community manager*

I have to also say thanks to all those who have allowed us to serve them, without you we would not be here today.  I have to assure you that for every $20 we have to spend on our business, I have to think more than twice, is it worth it?.  Can this money go to a worthy cause that can make an immediate impact?

Thank you.

We look forward to growing and in essence giving more back.

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Price of Turban will go up.

I recently got a new shipment from India and I was shocked to see the bill.  My cost,  buying in bulk, was up 30%.  I immediately called my family who continue to help me with GoSikh.

The news is that the cost of Cotton, raw material, has gone up 100% in the last 6 months., 3Q 2010 to 1Q 2011.   Since all the Turbans are 100% cotton, the cost of Turban is also up.

Speculation, weather,  increase demand for cotton all have lead to higher prices.

The new inventory will be phased in as the old inventory gets depleted.   So, we will phase in the new prices over X amount of time at increments of 10 cents.

I actually like the price of Turbans today $2.90 a meter but we cannot sustain ourselves at these prices going forward.

Sadly, everything is becoming expensive and we have no control.

I have heard from family and they have said that the new shipment I am expecting in the next few months will be more expensive than the last.  So, the prices of cotton continue to go up.

I simply hate the price fluctuations but this is the way the world works.

 

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Satnam Jio!

Welcome to the GoSikh blog.  I have a lot going on under my Turban, a lot to share and a lot to do.  I will share my thoughtswith you via this blog and hopefully you can get an insight into what it takes to run GoSikh.com.

As usual comments are welcome, you can leave your comments here or you can email me directly.

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