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Fabric masks from fenceware

Caroline Zöller

Published on 06.04.2020

Due to the current supply bottlenecks in protective clothing, Hehelrei has decided to enter into the production of mouth and nose masks. Currently, masks made of strong cotton fabric in various sizes for children and adults are sewn. Here too, the Hehlerei factory uses only donated fabrics as raw material. In order to make wearers feel comfortable later on, preferences regarding colours, styles and patterns can be given when ordering, which will be taken into account if possible and available. The masks are double-layered and made of strong cotton fabric, washable up to 90°C and even boilable. They can also be ironed dry at up to 120°C.

Pay what you can

In good Hehlerei tradition, the pricing is not based on a fixed price, but on a “pay what you can” model. Manuel Krings, co-founder of the Hehlerei explains it like this: “We have quite consciously decided against a fixed price and would like to keep this principle. After all, we are not doing the whole thing for profit, but because we, as a small fashion company in times of COVID-19, want to use our capacities and our reach in the best possible way and in solidarity. According to our experience from the last days, we have set a “donation window” of four to 18 Euro per mask. With the order the amount is determined. The donation principle works if everyone acts in solidarity and pays what they can. This then allows supplying as many people as possible. People who have money will finance those without a financial cushion”.

Masks especially for children

Not only the price model is special, but also the range of children’s masks. For this purpose, the facial measurements of children of different ages were queried and masks for different age groups were developed from the empirical values:

1.5-2 years: 9×9 cm
2-4 years: 11×11 cm
4-8 years: 13×13 cm
8-14 years: 15×15 cm.

For adult masks, the proven standard size is 17×17 cm.

Wear masks for foreign protection

In Cologne, the masks are delivered personally on request. In return, the Hehlerei is happy to receive clothing donations – canvas fabrics for mask production are preferred, such as bed linen, shirts, blouses, dish towels or pillowcases. A good opportunity to muck out the cupboards in times of home staying. The fencing department accepts all washed clothes. Anything that is not processed by the company itself is donated to charitable organisations in Cologne.

Finally, a short note on the current wave of warnings in connection with self-made masks: There are indeed lawyers who issue warnings to companies or private individuals who sew fabric masks and make them available to others. This is about the name of the product. Therefore, here is the disclaimer of the fence: “Our masks are not a medical product. Although we have consulted several care institutions as well as the independent Gesundheitsberatung e.V. in the run-up, which is the best DIY guide for fabric masks, it is important for us to emphasize that they are not professional breathing masks in the medical sense. Nevertheless, scientists recommend wearing fabric masks: this way we reduce the risk of someone catching an infection (protection from others – especially people who work for us in pharmacies or supermarkets, especially under difficult conditions). In addition, the masks make the virus more present in public spaces and thus ensure greater caution, distance and consideration. The Hehlerei has therefore decided to provide as many people as possible with beautiful fabric masks under fair conditions”.

About Hehlerei

The Hehlerei is dedicated to the production of upcycled unique items from textile donations. From worn and discarded material, the creative people develop fenceware as their own mini-collection or merchandise on behalf of small and medium-sized labels, fashion and culture professionals. At PromoTex Expo 2020, the Hehlerei company had a stand in the Textile Campus and, over three days, cut the mini-collection “TEX MEX” from textiles donated at the trade show. The newly sewn and finished garments were then shown in a specially choreographed fashion show on the catwalk in Hall 12.

Pictures Hehlerei