Tuesday, July 14

Sibu tailor fashions DIY face masks due to lack of supply

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Ling (left) and Yii wearing the face masks that Ling made.

SIBU: With the scarcity of face masks in town, tailor Ling Ee Ching has resorted to tailoring face masks for his family and friends.

His initial plan was only to make them for his own family as face masks were all out of stock in town.

However, when his friends and relatives found out on Facebook, they asked him to make the masks for them as well.

“It all started last week on Sunday (Mar 15). I could not find any masks in town, so I decided that I would make my own masks. We ordered masks, but until now, we have not received the items,” he said when contacted by The Borneo Post today.

Ling said he first learned to fashion face masks from his friend in Peninsular Malaysia, and started through trial and error before the first successful face masks were made.

After successfully making the face masks for his families, he posted them on his Facebook page and since then, the requests came pouring in from friends and relatives.

“My friends saw it and they requested me to make some for them. I then received my first order to make 20 pieces of face masks,” he said.

Some of the face masks that Ling has made.

The news of him making face masks then spread around among his friend’s circle.

Since then, he has made over 300 masks. He received help from his wife Yii Hung Ong and his 15-year-old son Nathan Ling.

He said that even though the face mask looks simple, making them is a tedious job as it would take a minimum of 20 minutes to complete one mask.

“I would not be able to fulfill all those requests if I did it alone. With some help from my family, I managed to make them a lot faster,” he said.

According to Ling, the masks he makes have seven layers and he builds an opening inside the mask so that paper, gauze or tissues can be inserted inside.

He added that while the masks he makes may not be the best defense against Covid-19, it could still be useful especially due to the scarcity of surgical face masks on the market.

“This is of course better than nothing,” he said, adding that his masks are made with 100 per cent cotton.

He said that the masks are sold at RM15 per mask.

When asked on his thoughts about the Movement Control Order (MCO), he said that it was a good move to help contain the virus and urged everyone to be careful during the MCO.

However, he did express concern on how long it would last.

“I am worried because I won’t be able to have income,” he said.