Why this seamstress has been named one of country’s best face mask makers
PUBLISHED: 11:30 03 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:00 04 August 2020
A Suffolk seamstress has seen her orders pile up after being named one of the best mask makers in the country.
Former mayor of Woodbridge, Clare Perkins, has been recognised as one of the top 30 mask makers in the UK by Make it British, which promotes British manufacturing.
Ms Perkins, a seamstress by profession, launched her latest business Silk Rose Sew Suffolk in March after being asked to help with the shortage of scrubs for the NHS and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
As lockdown continued, word got out that Ms Perkins was also making face coverings which were then used to help local care homes, charities and volunteers providing essential services.
Ms Perkins has also been making masks for members of the public as the need for face coverings has increased following the easing of lockdown.
The reusable and reversible, 100% cotton or pure silk facemasks are bespoke-made from designs chosen by the customer and are machine washable at 60 degrees.
They are made using three layers of cotton with soft, round, non-chafing elastic ear loops and integral nose clips.
“I felt immensely proud to put my skills to such positive use during the initial Covid-19 crisis and to feel useful whilst being in lockdown,” said Ms Perkins.
“We should not underestimate the signal sent out by wearing a face covering, but it does not have to be boring.
“Now face coverings have become a chic fashion statement.”
Demand for the masks has been particularly high, with Ms Perkins having made over 800 face masks so far.
In fact, the masks have proved so popular that Ms Perkins has had to close her online Etsy store for a time to catch up with orders.
Ms Perkins has also kept her designs locally-based, using patterns created by Woodbridge artist Claudia Myatt.
The Make it British site said when naming Ms Perkins in the top 30 that: “Clare makes to a design that suits e.g. a grandchild’s love of trains, to make the wearing of this new face fashion fun.”
James Lightfoot, chairman of Choose Woodbridge, said: “It is great to witness a Woodbridge business adapting to the needs of Covid.
“The recognition by Make it British is fitting.
“Clare puts extraordinary effort into ensuring each client has a covering that suits them.”