May 23, 2020 - Clothing & Accessories

Stylish Fabric Face Masks Hand-Crafted in Tanzania

Kitenge African print fabric face masks UK customers wearing

From 15th June 2020, it has been mandatory to wear a face covering while using public transport and when visiting hospitals in England. Since 24th July, it has been mandatory in England to wear a face covering (non-medical mask) in shops and supermarkets. Those who fail to comply can face a fine of up to £100, which is reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

A Kitenge customer wearing her ankara fabric face mask on The Tube in London

A happy Kitenge customer wearing her face covering on The Tube in London, UK

England followed in the footsteps of Scotland, who made it mandatory to wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets since 10th July, and other European countries including Spain, Italy, France, and Germany. Children who are under the age of 11 and those with certain disabilities are exempt from wearing face coverings in England. It is hoped that wearing face coverings will give the general public more confidence to go shopping after lockdowns to boost the economy by supporting local businesses, especially independents.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends wearing a face covering in all enclosed public spaces, especially where social distancing is more difficult. Scientific evidence shows that face coverings can help to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Due to the government requirements and guidelines from the World Health Organisation, many people use face coverings in order to give themselves and others added protection from catching or spreading infection. They protect the healthy and additionally help asymptomatic people from spreading the disease.

Whilst N95 or surgical masks are the most effective masks, they should be reserved for healthcare professionals. Outside of the healthcare profession, wearing fabric masks still provides benefits to everyone but wearing a face mask alone doesn’t mean you should stop washing your hands effectively or practicing social distancing. For maximum benefit, all three should be done in combination.

In May, Kitenge’s Tanzanian tailors started hand-crafting pleated fabric face masks, with a filter pocket and adjustable fabric ties, helping people to stay protected. The masks included spare pieces of elastic in case wearers preferred to alter them to an elasticated tie around the ears.

African print face mask model wearing front view african print face covering side view handcrafted face covering side view African print fabric face mask filter pocket back view

Kitenge’s African print fabric cotton face masks feature a filter pocket

Supporting Tanzanian Tailors with African Print Fabric Face Masks

All Kitenge’s face masks were handmade using high-quality, 100% cotton, breathable African print fabric. Kitenge’s masks were available in a range of colorful and stylish prints. Fabric offcuts were used so they were also sustainable and an eco-friendly alternative to paper masks.

African print fabric face masks handmade in Tanzania 100 percent cotton

A set of 5 African print fabric face masks by Kitenge

Unfortunately, many individuals and businesses around the world have been affected due to the covid-19 pandemic. This includes garment workers and our tailors in Tanzania whose private orders from local customers dried up. Kitenge’s masks really helped to support the livelihoods of our tailors and their families during this difficult and challenging time.

Tailors in Tanzania making African wax print fabric face masks

One of Kitenge’s tailors, Denis, making an African print fabric face mask in Tanzania

Kitenge’s Fabric Face Masks Sold Out

Kitenge’s popular face masks have sold out. A huge thank you to everyone who purchased a set of our colorful face coverings. Your support meant that our Tanzanian tailors were able to continue working and earn a decent income during the pandemic.

A Kitenge customer wearing her African print fabric face mask on the train in UK

A happy Kitenge customer wearing her face covering on the train in England

These fabric masks are great. I mainly use these for travelling on the train. I use a filter in the mask which is easy to fit. They wash well and maintain their shape. Even with the filter they are comfortable and not hot/sweaty as a surgical mask.They are brightly coloured so add a bit of fun to wearing a mask and you have 5 to choose from to suit your mood! Easy to order and come with elastic if you wish to add these rather than use the fabric ties. Thanks Sian and her team of tailors. Highly recommended”


Find out what our customers had to say about their African wax print fabric face masks. For the latest offers and updates on Kitenge’s ethical range of clothing and accessories, subscribe to our newsletter today!

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