COVID-19: Designers experiment with pattern and fabric for masks


When designer Shalini James acquired a mail from the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) on April 7, within the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, that designers would obtain help to fabricate masks for the police pressure, she set into motion. A gathering on April 12 with G. Poonguzhali, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law & Order and Traffic) helped her chart a plan.

For near 10 days James, who has her design label Mantra, manufactured masks for the town police paying additional consideration to design. Instead of the common masks she has designed one, which is extra ergonomic. She has to this point equipped round 1500 khaki masks, “I was told this will do for now as they have sufficient numbers. If they need more, they’ll get in touch,” she says.

“The police force does want to use surgical masks as it might add to the shortage,” says Shalini. To begin with she despatched samples, which had been permitted by the Police Commissionerate Kochi. Pre-production work included in depth on-line analysis and chatting with fellow designers resembling Kottayam-based Joe Ikareth, who had additionally been making masks.

Before the week was up, on April 17, she delivered the primary batch of 300-odd masks. She labored with a skeletal workers of six embroiderers, two girls from the ending crew and two accountants. While she lower the fabric, helped by two accountants, the remaining dealt with the tailoring. Those engaged on the masks stay near the manufacturing facility, making commute simple. The masks, batches of 300-400, had been delivered on alternate days to the police.

Of taking over the venture she says, “These guys (tailors) were without work, and perhaps, the uncertainty must have been bothering them. This way they are occupied, feel at ease about their situation without getting worried.”

Handmade masks

Ikareth has, in the mean time, been stitching masks himself. He began the venture with his daughter Tilotama, who has posted a DIY video of how one can make one on YouTube. “When we realised these are going to be part of our new reality we started making,” he says. She used the fabric waste from his studio for the masks. Ikareth, apart from his eponymous label, is the co-creator of ‘Move Ability Clothing’, which offers clothes and accent options to differently-abled individuals. He will not be new to the idea of recycling, he has been making fabric luggage out of leftover fabric.

Wear a masks

  • A masks provides safety towards droplets which transmit COVID-19, it’s each protecting and preventive. However till such time that the nation is freed from the COVID-19, it’s secure to observe social distancing regardless of carrying masks.
  • An benefit of a fabric masks is that it may be reused after washing in contrast to surgical masks, which ought to be discarded after use.
  • Health practitioners require surgical masks, making/utilizing fabric masks is not going to trigger a scarcity.
  • These might be made at house.

He has distributed the masks to individuals who go to his home with necessities – the grocery store, the fish monger, the fuel supply man – and his neighbours apart from donating them to native those that want them. “It is more a service. I don’t make large numbers they are neither for sale nor wholesale. Their production goes with how the rest of my work is – slow fashion and process-oriented,” he says. So far he has made 100-odd, since he’s stitching every himself. His studio is within the backyard of his home, “so all I need to do is hop across, but my tailors cannot come. So I am making each myself,” he says.

Designer Joe Ikareth’s daughter, Tilotama at work in her father’s studio in Kottayam  
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Both designers are additionally engaged on enhancing design – Shalini by experimenting with, and incorporating, a distinct pattern, and Ikareth with fabric.

Shalini says, “I wanted to make something different from the regular pleated one, which would provide more protection.” She subsequently tailored the princess lower, used for girls’s clothes to design the masks. This one would sit extra snug in keeping with the contours of the face. Since two-ply (two layers) masks are understood to be safer, she has added an additional layer made from fusing materials normally used for collars; the non-woven fabric offering extra safety.

Ikareth in the meantime is experimenting with nanofabrics to make masks. He makes use of the fabric for the ‘Move Ability’ clothes. Among the various benefits of nanofabric is that it’s water repellent and the composition of the fabric is such that it may possibly even cut back odours.

A mask made by Tilotama

Reuse and recycling sustainably are on the coronary heart of his endeavour. He says, “Surgical masks cannot be used and reused as they are being done currently. Secondly what about the disposal of surgical masks? These are a bio-hazard; you can’t just throw them into your garbage. This will lead to a bigger problem – we will have a mountain of masks to deal with. It is a good time to educate about masks – which to use, how to use and even discard – since they are going to be obligatory from now on.”

Shalini manufactured the masks freed from value and Ikareth too will not be promoting however donating. Shalini doesn’t low cost manufacturing commercially since, as Ikareth says, carrying masks may very well be obligatory for a while.

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