France’s opera houses dressmakers make face masks for medical staff to defend agains Coronavirus pandemic

France’s opera houses dressmakers make face masks for medical staff to defend agains Coronavirus pandemic

WITH France’s desperate shortages of masks for medical and nursing home staff in France, there is no shortage of those willing to lend a hand. Costume departments of opera houses across France have even begun mask making packed into ‘tutu bags’ marked ‘Opera de Paris.’

Christine Neumeister, the costume director of the Paris Opera, has been driving around collecting masks that 30 of her couturiers have made while locked down at home. The first week they made 1,000 for the Red Cross and a Paris maternity hospital, and the following week they made a similar number for the Salvation Army. Neumeister said it takes about 20 minutes to make, slower than if her staff were working in their studio and they are made with lightweight poplin with a cotton fleece in the middle.

Isabelle Daumas and 20 colleagues from the Toulouse Opera will also start turning out masks to the same high standards from Monday. “Five or six people work each day in the studio,” sticking rigidly to social distancing rules, said Aude Eisinger, who set up the drive for the local council.

With 1,000 masks a week to turn out, “we are drawing on the opera’s stock of fabrics because getting fresh supplies is difficult,” she added.

 

 

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