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Photo of various masks made by Textiles student, Megan, featuring pleated versions and ones with clear panels in

Image: Masks by Megan Dunne

Textiles students express their talents in the pandemic by making face masks for the public

Following guidelines set by the government that members of the public are required to wear face coverings in all shops from 24 July, a number of Loughborough students have been keeping busy by making their own.

Student Chloe Matthews – alongside her sister, Tilly – has been making face masks using a variety of patterns and materials since lockdown began.

Based in West Bridgford, the duo has already sold more than 2,000 masks in their local community and across the UK. The masks are handmade, washable cotton with elastic fastenings.

A sponsor from Manchester even bought the sisters a new industrial sewing machine so they could continue to make them.

Chloe said: “I've really enjoyed making face masks as I love helping the community out especially in these hard times, and I really just believe that if you can help others then you should do your bit to support people more vulnerable than yourself.”

Megan Dunne – who also studies Textiles – has made not only pleated face masks, but also masks which can help people who are deaf.

As her placement was cut short due to the pandemic, Megan started making headbands and ear savers for NHS staff and carers for free. From this, she started making pleated face coverings and after gaining some interest on Facebook began to expand the range to include clear sections too after doing some research.

The masks feature clear panels over the mouth area so people who are hard of hearing can lip read when someone is speaking and see facial expressions, helping them to maintain independence and making their lives significantly easier during the pandemic.  

Speaking about the masks, Megan commented: “There’s been some lovely feedback; I’ve had a message from a deaf lady who struggled to understand those who are wearing a mask and thanked me for making the clear option. I’ve also been told they can help people who have dementia too.

“It’s a difficult time for everybody, so it’s nice to know I’m making items that can have a positive impact at this time.”