Despite most muslims believing there is no requirement in the Koran for women to wear the burka, or the slightly less overwhelming niqab, sales are up and the prevalence of fully-covered women is increasing.
Express.co.uk can reveal shopkeepers in Blackburn, the British town with the third highest Muslim population, are enjoying a boom in sales.
The burka is the most concealing of all Islamic dress incorporating a usually black one-piece garment which covers the face and body with a mesh covering the wearer’s eyes.
It is designed to effectively dehumanise the wearer in the interests of modesty by disguising all of her physical elements.
The niqab is usually a veil worn in conjunction with a headscarf to create a similar effect to the burka.
In the Islamic faith both garments are worn as an assertion of religious and cultural identity.