Now that protective masks have become an integral part of our daily lives amid the COVID-19 outbreak, fashion designers and artisans have entered the mix of producers in Turkey. A silver craftsperson in Istanbul now designs and manufactures gold and silver face maks that have a starting cost of TL 1,500 ($188.24) but can go for up to TL 20,000.
Sabri Demirci, a 43-year-old craftsperson who has been working with silver for around 32 years in his shop located in a historic han, or inn, in the Eminönü neighborhood of Fatih on the city's European side, had to close his shop for a while due to the outbreak.
Demirci heard that silver has antibacterial properties, a fact he confirmed by looking into several scientific studies. He decided to make silver masks during the next 2 1/2 months spent at home.
The local craftsperson then started work on a mold for the mask in his shop, which he reopened in June. Soon as a result of his detailed work, he began manufacturing gold and silver masks.
Demirci told Anadolu Agency (AA) Wednesday that he worked on the mold and design of the mask for around five months and he is now producing antibacterial silver masks – a world first.
The silver masks are made of 999 fine silver, weighing 20 grams (0.7 ounces) and coming with a price tag of TL 1,500.
The inside of the mask is lined with silk for more comfortable use, Demirci said, adding that it does not restrict breathing when worn.
He said that they have now produced 300 masks and have the necessary human resources to produce more.
“Our weekly production will be around 150 to 200 masks,” he said.
Meanwhile, the gold masks, weighing around 25 grams, come with a price tag of TL 20,000.
Masks can be cleaned using a soft fabric, he said, adding that since the mask isn't disposable, once the pandemic is over, the masks can be cashed in.
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