Charlotte Crawford

Charlotte Crawford, 75 of Montague, has been making cotton non-medical masks at Tidewater in Montague for the past month and a half. What started out as a small project for a couple friends and family has turned into a product that has been flying off the sales racks.

Sean MacDougall photo

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What started as a project to help a couple of friends has turned into high demand for hand-made items crafted by Charlotte Crawford.

Over the course of last week, Ms Crawford has watched her cotton face masks fly off the sales racks quicker than she can create them.

On July 4 and 5, PEI’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr Heather Morrison, announced five new cases of COVID-19 within the province.

That set Ms Crawford in motion.

The non-medical masks, made on the premises at Tidewater Clothing in the Down East Mall in Montague, consist of two layers of cotton fabric.

In this instance the masks are a two-person project.

The shop is owned by June Edamura, who assembles the masks and from there Ms Crawford sews and affixes hair elastics on both ends to hold them in place. The material needed has been a bit difficult to come by.

“They’re the new toilet paper,” Ms Crawford said, referring to the beginning of the pandemic when toilet paper became a scarce item in grocery stores.

But demand dictates supply and when Tidewater reopened in May Ms Edamura and Donald Ross needed the masks to stay safe at work.

That’s where Ms Crawford entered the picture. The Montague woman began sewing masks for them and soon after friends and family began inquiring about purchasing masks for themselves.

Ms Crawford has been making them ever since.

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