CHEK Upside: ‘Maybe it’s like the new tattoo?’ Mask fashion driving Langford fabric shop sales to rise

CHEK Upside: 'Maybe it's like the new tattoo?' Mask fashion driving Langford fabric shop sales to rise
WatchAfter donating materials to help local health care workers, the Cloth Castle is seeing a surge in sales due to other COVID-19 related needs.

Bonnie Harper’s family has operated the Cloth Castle for over fifty years.

The store normally supplies people who sew in Greater Victoria with fabrics usually used for quilts and homemade clothing. In the past month, however, the Langford institution has mobilized to help those in need due to COVID-19.

The store recently launched a program to donated materials and, with the help of its loyal customer base, create safety caps for Island health care workers.

“We have approximately 300 caps done,” Bonnie Harper told CHEK News.

With health care workers needing their hair covered while also wearing a mask, the sewers stitched in a button on the back of the cap to ensure the masks could hook on seamlessly to the cap.

“It gives the nurses a little more protection, so they don’t have to remove the caps on and off all day long,” Harper said.

It appears good deeds spread fast as Brenda Gillis, a Cloth Castle customer, has started her own charitable mask-making mission.

“I’ve done about three hundred and I’m sending them up to Hay River, Northwest Territories,” said Gillies, who has family and friends living in the very small northern community.

“I’m just trying to make sure everyone gets one up there.”

Ever since federal and provincial health officials started recommending the use of non-medical masks for the public in situations where proper social distancing may be compromised, such as using public transit,  demand for cotton fabric and elastics at the Cloth Castle has skyrocketed.

“Everybody’s wanting to make face masks and wear face masks to protect us in this time,” said Harper.

While people are primarily using masks for their health and safety, some are also adding their own personal touch.

“People are picking up fabrics that reflect them. We have the butterfly fabrics here people like, there’s prints for kids,” Harper said.

The store features hundreds of different patterns including Disney characters, rocket ships and music notes.

“Maybe it’s like the new tattoo? Instead of having a new tattoo, you wear a mask reflecting you,” Harper said.

Harper says wearing a mask can take some getting used to and recommends using her how-to videos on the store’s Facebook page:


Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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