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Suffolk silk weavers launch face coverings to help in fight against coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 19:00 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 20:32 14 July 2020

Justin Dudden and Sue Lowe of Vanners Silk Weavers in Sudbury with silk face coverings Picture: LAURA GORE/VANNERS

Justin Dudden and Sue Lowe of Vanners Silk Weavers in Sudbury with silk face coverings Picture: LAURA GORE/VANNERS

LAURA GORE/VANNERS

Well-known Suffolk company Vanners Silk Weavers has branched out to make face coverings, to help in the fight against coronavirus.

Silk face coverings made by Vanners Silk Weavers in Sudbury Picture: LAURA GORE/VANNERSSilk face coverings made by Vanners Silk Weavers in Sudbury Picture: LAURA GORE/VANNERS

The company, based in Sudbury, says demand has grown since it launched its colourful face masks.

And it is expected even more customers will be looking to buy them following today’s announcement that masks are to be made mandatory in shops from July 24.

Laura Gore, managing director of Vanners, said: “We started making them because there was demand from our shop customers, although our shop wasn’t open during lockdown.

“We have been using silk off-cuts to keep the cost down, and for sustainability as well.”

Silk face coverings made by Vanners Silk Weavers in Sudbury Picture: LAURA GORE/VANNERSSilk face coverings made by Vanners Silk Weavers in Sudbury Picture: LAURA GORE/VANNERS

Mrs Gore said: “We are making them in lovely bright colours. Some of them are quite flamboyant, although we do also get requests from some customers who want plain ones.”

She said, because they were being made from off-cuts, there was a huge variety of patterns available.

MORE: Suffolk shop owners call for clarity on face mask plans

The masks have two outer layers and a thin inner layer of calico, and can be hand-washed at temperatures of up to 30C.

Vanners has been asked to supply the silk face masks to Wimbledon, which needs them for staff to wear even though the famous tennis championships could not take place this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vanners’ non-surgical masks come in packs at £10 for two. You can buy a pack by visiting Vanners Mill Shop on a Thursday between 10am and 4pm, or email info@vanners.com

Silk is known as a natural fabric which is smooth and soft, and some scientific surveys have found it to be particularly effective at preventing penetration by droplets.

The government has announced that wearing of face coverings in shops and supermarkets will be mandatory for customers from July 24.

Police will be able to issue those who disobey with a £100 fine, which will be halved if paid within 14 days.

Masks are already compulsory on public transport and when attending hospitals as a visitor or outpatient.

MORE: Face masks to be made compulsory in shops - Everything you need to know


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