Somewhere in our collection of home videos there is one of me sewing my newborn daughter’s first ever Halloween costume. I vaguely remember looking up as my husband provided voice over commentary while moving the camera closer. I was engrossed in lining up the black and yellow fleece stripes and while they were not complicated to stitch together, my frustration level was rising. I’m fairly certain the distinguishing feature of that long lost video is me swearing and attempting to muster a faint smile so my daughter would not think her mother unhappy with the task. But, sadly, I was.
Although, I persevered and must say it did turn out to be one adorable little bee costume which I still have. Maybe my future grandchildren will wear it again someday and I won’t actually have to sew something new for them.
As our return to normal is delayed and the CDC recommends cloth face coverings when in public spaces where social distancing is not possible, I had a dilemma. To sew or not to sew.
Clearly, it wasn’t a tough choice. While I could probably sew some face masks for my family with hopefully a minimum of profanity, I’d rather work on my other crafts and hobbies instead. But somehow, I don’t think scrapbooking a paper face mask would meet the recommended guidelines.
Fortunately, there are some wonderful Maine crafters and artisans who’ve stepped up and are providing a lot of great options when it comes to face coverings. Below is a completely random and absolutely incomplete list of ten local Maine face mask makers and their beautiful products picked solely because I thought they were pretty.
(#1) Tree and Vine
Tree and Vine produces colorful costume pieces for children including butterfly wings and eye masks. They are beautiful, whimsical and guaranteed to help a child’s imagination soar. I’ve blogged about this local business before in my post T is for Tree + Vine | Costumes that match a child’s imagination. They’ve now switched the majority of production over to cloth mask making and are offering face masks in lots of fun prints.
The reversible cloth masks have around-the-ear elastic for keeping them comfortably in place. Masks can be purchased on her Etsy shop. $11.50.
Gray. (Instagram: @treeandvine)
@treeandvine. (2020, April 27). Fox mask/fox mask … [Instagram post]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/B_geL3TAvue/
(#2) Erin Flett
This textile artist creates gorgeous graphic prints in engaging colors. They sell a variety of products on their website from tea towels to tote bags. I’m partial to her makeup bags. They just launched a collaboration with LL Bean. They have also been intermittently offering a limited number of face masks in some of their signature prints.
The masks are made of linen or bark cloth lined with muslin and made with cotton ties. You can purchase the face masks on their website. $25.00.
Gorham. (Instagram: @erinflett)
@erinflett. (2020, April 24). More masks available for pre order!… [Instagram post]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/B_YOFSiAHMO/
(#3) Catalyst for Change
This local clothing and accessories manufacturer donates a portion of all sales to local charities. I’m a big fan of their t-shirts and have purchased a few from their shirt a day collection including one with “support local” messaging. Supporting local has never been more important than it is right now.
They are now offering a one-piece face mask made from lightweight jersey fabric. You can purchase them on their website. $4.50.
Biddeford. (Instagram: @cfcwear)
@cfcwear. (2020, April 28). Tomorrow 4/29. 8am Est. 300 Maine Strong… [Instagram post]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/B_hwNDwAmx5/
(#4) ANNE RIGGS DESIGNS
This sustainable goods manufacturer makes reusable products like cloth “paper” towels and snack bags using organic fabrics. I have some of her bowl covers which work as a great alternative to plastic wrap for keeping leftovers covered. They’re well made and beautiful.
Her face masks are made of all organic cotton and lined with organic muslin. They have elastic loops that go around your ears. They can be purchased from her Etsy shop. $15.00.
Portland. (Instgram: @anneriggsdesign)
@AnneRiggsDesigns. (2020, April 28). Reusable organic cloth mask, ready to ship…. [Instagram post]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/B_h6GVNAwRh/
(#5) ROUGH AND TUMBLE
This local handbag and accessory business was established in 2008. They do all their manufacturing in Maine. They also offer a customizable bag feature and service where customers can design a one of a kind bag. They are now offering masks made by their local makers. They also are offering donation masks to those in need.
The masks are made of a tightly woven cotton nylon blend with the back lined in cotton. Ear loops are elastic. You can purchase them on their website. $15.50.
Brunswick. (Instagram: @roughandtumblebags)
@roughandtumblebags. (2020, April 6). Tcommunity initiative we have engaged our Makers…. [Instagram post]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/B-p5MOvgkB-/
(#6) JENNIE BLUE
I love the black and white sketch designs from this local artist. While her Etsy shop is focused on her tea towels and ceramics, she recently started offering face masks. Her first round sold out quickly so you’ll need to act fast when her next round goes up for sale. I’m partial to the lobster print one. It feels like home to me.
Each face mask is made from a tea towel of one of her original illustrations. They have three separate layers: two of tea towel lined with one layer of flannel. There are four ties to attach the mask. While I don’t mind ear loops on masks, my husband has struggled a bit with that style. I think this design with ties might work better. The masks can be purchased on her Etsy site. $22.00.
Belfast. (Instagram: @jenniebluevermont)
@jenniebluevermont. (2020, May 5). “Oh my ! Thank you! The response to…” [Instagram post]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/B_0b7Wsgk7L/
(#7) FOX & ROSE
This shop traditionally sells baby/children’s goods, home decor and accessories but they are now currently focused on face masks. They offer a variety of masks in fun, whimsical prints. She also offers child size masks and even has some doll sized ones for sale.
The masks are made with three layers of fabric. Two layers of cotton and a flannel filter sewn inside. Masks can be purchased on her Etsy site. $10.99.
Belfast. Instagram: @foxandrosedesign
@foxandrosedesign. (2020, April 24). If you’ve been eyeing these prints, now…. [Instagram post]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/B_X2LXxA-om/
(#8) SPRUCE AND PINE
This Etsy shop makes reusable products for zero waste living. They have some super cute and environmentally friendly zero waste cutlery kits that are on my wish list. They also started making face masks. The prints are simple and elegant.
The masks are reversible, double layered with your choice of print on the outside and contrasting cotton fabric on the inside. They have elastic ear loops. You can purchase them from her Etsy shop. $14.00.
Portland. Instagram: @spruceandpineco
@spruceandpineco. (2020, April 20). I am in love with these light…. [Instagram post]. Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/B_OTMwIgUEk/
(#9) BLYND TOWN
This Maine based Etsy site has a large selection of face masks in fun prints and patterns. I recently purchased the one below. It was shipped super quick and the quality is excellent. I’m looking forward to wearing it out soon.
Their face masks have a double layer with coordinating fabric for added support, strength and coverage. They have elastic ear bands. Masks can be purchased on the Etsy site. $12.00.
This fun local business makes unique, colorful bow-ties, neckties and other men’s accessories and they’ve now added some equally fun face masks to their product line.
The masks are three layers of 100% pre-washed cotton. They are pleated and tie with elastics which can be worn encircling your head, or you can cut them to the lengths you prefer to loop around your ears. Face masks can be purchased from their website. $22.00
Kennebunk. (Facebook: @BowtieDotCom)
@BowtieDotCom. (2020, May 2).[No text]….. [Facebook post]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/BowtieDotCom/posts/2833542810027953
I’ve included pricing with the information above as a reference point but please be sure to check the sellers shops to confirm as pricing may vary.
Maine MEP also has a list going of local face mask manufacturers: Retail Sales of Cloth Face Covers. While there is some small overlap with the makers I’ve highlighted here, their list focuses more on larger manufacturers and is worth checking out too.
** IMPORTANT ** These masks are NOT medical-grade and as stated on the Etsy website where many of them are sold, these masks are not intended to “mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose or cure any disease or health condition.”1
For specific guidance on recommendations around face coverings, please see the CDC website.
While the thought of wearing a face mask can be overwhelming as it reinforces the seriousness of the pandemic that we are experiencing, for me personally, anything I can do to reduce the chance of potentially making someone else sick is worth any inconvenience.
It also makes it a little more palatable when there are so many amazing choices available for masks that have been crafted with love from Maine. They bring a smile to my covered face.
Do you know of other local manufacturers who are making cloth face masks?
“COVID-19 Safety on Etsy.” Etsy Help, help.etsy.com/hc/en-us/articles/360044460414-COVID-19-Safety-on-Etsy?ref=covidbanner&segment=shopping#h_262a1b98-6400-4c81-8ce1-b4265246c351.