Sewing for it: mask makers snapping up supplies

Lincraft sales assistant Erin Boock holds fabric, a hot commodity among shoppers at present....
Lincraft sales assistant Erin Boock holds fabric, a hot commodity among shoppers at present. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Enthusiastic mask makers have stitched up sewing supplies across Dunedin.

As fabric, elastic and sewing machines fly off the shelves, craft stores are finding resources stretched.

The Ministry of Health this month recommended households be prepared by having a supply of face masks for each household member.

Masks could be fabric and reusable, or a single-use disposable face mask, it said.

At Alert Level 2, people are being asked to consider wearing a mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Lincraft Dunedin store manager Jenny Padon said the store had seen a "significant increase" in demand for supplies, including fabric, elastic and sewing machines, over the past 10 days.

"It’s been very busy — people are very interested in making their own masks."

She thought people were taking the call from the Government for increased mask use seriously.

"I think people are wanting to be proactive and prepare for the possibility mask use is made compulsory.

"We’ve had people come in wanting materials to make masks for their whole office."

Elastic suitable for mask making had been incredibly popular, and fabric was "flying" out the door, she said.

"We’re also seeing a lot more people wearing masks when they are in the store."

The Fabric Store sales assistant Clara Bowshard said the store did not have any elastic for masks because of increased demand, and the store was awaiting more supplies.

"Every second person who comes in is asking about elastic.

"Our head office has had to order more from overseas."

Customers had also been asking about how they could make masks.


Masks. Utterly useless, and just a fashion accessory. Even the World Health Organization (while admittedly hardly the most trustworthy organization) advises masks should only be worn if one is coughing and/or sneezing; but in that case why would that person be out in public?



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