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Updated: 12 April, 2020 09:11 IST | Shweta Shiware | Mumbai

A Delhi-based label is using its experience with anti-bacterial fabric to make fashion-forward masks

Four days before the national lockdown, Nanki Maggo Papneja was in Mumbai. She returned to her home in Gurugram, and got in touch with Kasturba Gandhi Hospital, one of Mumbai's primary COVID-19 testing and isolation facilities.

Papneja and husband Abirr run Limerick, a five-year-old homegrown label that celebrates nature-inspired prints and handicrafts. Abirr also operates another firm in Himachal Pradesh focused primarily on the production of spunbonded nonwovens, an anti-bacterial fabric used to make surgical masks, sanitary pads and diapers.

"Making masks for medical workers is a more complex process than sewing a piece of fashion," she says. A disposable surgical mask consists of three layers; the first and third of PP spunbonded nonwoven fabric. Between them is the Meltblown Nonwoven fabric, that is fluid resistant and with a bacteria filtration efficiency of 95-98 per cent. "Since we are based in Delhi, we couldn't transport the masks to Mumbai. We plan to do so as soon as the lockdown is over," says Papneja.

Abirr and Nanki of design label Limerick

In the meantime, they have leveraged their resources and textile skills to introduce designer safety masks available on their website. These come with four layers—two active layers of antibacterial nonwoven and Meltblown Nonwoven fabrics in between embroidered viscose and cotton. "While the surgical masks have to be discarded after one-time use, these can be washed and worn three times before disposal." Priced at R2,700 onwards, the masks will help generate funds for Earth Saviours Foundation, an NGO that looks after homeless, abandoned senior citizens.

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First Published: 12 April, 2020 09:06 IST

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