French opera designers make masks for medical personnel to defend against the coronavirus pandemic

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Don Quixote of the Paris Opera Ballet
Credit – Esplanade

Dressmakers of French opera houses make masks for medical personnel to defend against the coronavirus pandemic

With the desperate shortage of masks in France for medical staff and retirement homes in France, there is no shortage of people ready to lend a hand. The costume departments of operas in France have even started to make masks packed in “tutu bags” marked “Paris Opera”.

Christine Neumeister, director of costumes at the Paris Opera, scanned the collections of masks that 30 of her dressmakers made while being locked up at home. The first week, they made 1,000 for the Red Cross and one Parisian maternity, and the following week they made a similar number for the Salvation Army. Neumeister said it takes about 20 minutes to do, slower than if his staff were working in their studio and they were made of light poplin with cotton fleece in the middle.

Isabelle Daumas and 20 colleagues from the Toulouse Opera will also start making masks to the same standards from Monday. “Five or six people work in the studio every day,” strictly following the rules of social distancing, said Aude Eisinger, who set up the campaign for the city council.

With 1,000 masks per week, “we rely on the stock of opera fabrics because it is difficult to get supplies,” she added.

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