Handmade facemasks prove popular

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Annemarie Harvey has been kept busy during lockdown making face masks.

Facemasks have been in high demand this lockdown keeping Annemarie Harvey, who makes masks from home, busy at her sewing machine.

When Alert Level 4 hit last month Annemarie was inundated with orders for her handmade masks peaking at around 200-300 a day. She now has a steady flow of orders averaging 40 per day.

During lockdown 2020 Annemarie started making a few masks for friends and word soon spread.

‘‘And from there everybody else wanted masks, so that’s how it started,’’ she said.

When not in lockdown Annemarie works part-time at Cafe Time in Tinwald, during lockdown mask making takes up most of her time, marketing and selling online during the day and hitting the sewing machine in the evenings.

She has come up against a hitch with Facebook’s rules regarding facemask sales.

‘‘Facebook restricts mask advertising because people overseas have been buying up facemasks from shops then putting them on Facebook at increased prices.

‘‘I have just tried to put them on the local marketplace, sometimes they let it go through, sometimes they don’t, it is just hit and miss which makes it really hard.’’

Annemarie wants her masks to be affordable, pricing them at $5 each.

‘‘I’m not going crazy with the pricing, some people sell masks for $15-$20 each, I am in an age group where I’m thinking its better for people to wear a mask because if I catch covid I could die, so I make it affordable, and you need two, one to wear one to wash.’’

The most suitable fabric for masks is 100% cotton, sourcing the best cotton she can get form local shops or online, she said.

‘‘The better the cotton the better it is for breathing, I make them double layer with a little pocket so people can add a filter or just tissue paper if they wanted that extra layer of protection.’’

Her masks come in a variety of patterns and colours, but the most popular is still plain black.

Facemasks can be ordered via Annemarie’s Facebook page, annemarie.harvey.79 or ring 0277592773.

By Daniel Tobin