The friendly neighbourhood tailor goes the extra mile now to make a mask from the leftover material of your blouse

There are a lot of benefits if you are nice to your tailor. Spare them the last-minute orders and unreasonable design requests for a quintessentially 2020 perk: They will not just stitch your clothes well and on time, but will also offer to make a pretty matching mask with the leftover fabric.

At least that’s what Guwahati-based tailor Mohammed Ali of New Tailoring House is doing. He is keeping his clients happy by volunteering to stitch masks with leftover silk material from blouse orders. He does not charge for the masks and says he does it out of goodwill because of the business his clients have been giving him over the years.

Ali says “Most of my regular clients enquired about me and my team’s well-being during the lockdown. Stitching a mask is no big deal for tailors, what we need is time and the right material. I have made masks out of paat, muga and eri (types of Assam silk) for my regular clients.”

Stating that the wedding season and Bihu were in lockdown he says things finally looked up during Durga puja. “So we wanted to cheer our clients. Masks are a necessity and if it is matching their outfits, it will make them happy. Anyway, their make-up is not seen, so we thought the beautiful mask can make up for that. We use a double-layer lining for muga and triple for paat and paat-muga. The borders are stitched in a way that it doesn’t have contact with the skin. Gold thread can cause rashes on the face. Also because muga and eri silk are a little rough we add piping to the masks from those materials,” says Ali.

Ali uses elastic and makes fitted masks for his regular clients. He, however, refuses to make masks with materials that come with tiny beads and glitter. “I feel it is not safe to have beads and glitter around the nose and mouth,” he says.

Hyderabad-based fabric designer Sravanthy Anand who also has a stitching unit for select clients says matching masks with blouses for special occasions is in demand. She started stitching them as a complimentary give away.

It all began when she needed a coordinating mask for her Kalamkari silk sari for a family occasion. “So, I decided to stitch one for myself to match my blouse. It caught everyone’s attention and I received requests from family. We are however avoiding masks with pattu sari because of the heavy borders. They tend to irritate the skin.”

Sravanthy suggests those who want the sari border or lace on their masks should ask their tailors to fix it in a place that does not touch the skin.

She adds, “Kanjeevaram material is good because even though it is silk it is quite soft and thick at the same time. For Kanjeevaram silk, we use single-layer pre-washed lining material. For the rest, we use a double layer.”

Her clients though want the string instead of elastic. Says Sravanthy, “They cleverly tie the string at the back and hide it with their hair or jewellery.”

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