“Masks with printed image of actors are more in demand rather than the normal ones. We have begun printing them with Rajinikanth, Kamal, Ajith and Vijay’s posters over the last one week,” said VS Chandrakumar, Sentinel Clothing at NG Pudur in Tirupur.
A garment exporter, Chandrakumar had shifted to making masks following the lockdown. For children, there are masks with images of cartoon characters like Superman, Avengers, Hulk and others. One of Vadivelu’s popular one-liners Adada vada poche on the mask is a hot pick.
Even political parties have begun queuing up before manufacturers in Tirupur and placing bulk orders for the party. The ruling AIADMK and Kamal Haasan’s MNM were among the first to seek masks with a stamp of their party image. The MNM masks carry the image of their party symbol, whereas for AIADMK it is the party flag.
“Both the AIADMK and MNM have given orders for printing 18,000 masks in the few days. We expect more political parties to follow suit as demand for masks has grown manifold,” said Chandrakumar.
Masks made in Tirupur are being supplied to different states across India. Even though enquiries were pouring in from abroad, the manufacturers rued they couldn’t send samples or take up exports due to lockdown restrictions.
Mask manufacturing can be taken up on a larger scale with knitwear firms in the district having huge potential to make more than 50 lakh pieces per day. “Yet, currently, only 10 lakh pieces are being made per day as they could not be marketed and transportation issues. Tirupur may soon play a pivotal role in fulfilling mask requirements of the whole nation once online sale through Amazon and Flipkart resumes,” said J Arun, another mask manufacturer from Tirupur.