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The life of a mask (Part 1)

I am a mask.

I began my life as a piece of 100% cotton broadcloth. Actually, if you really want the dirty details, I started as a cotton plant, happily growing under the sun in one of the warmer places on this planet, planted in the fall and harvested in the spring. A lot of steps are required to turn me into a piece of cloth - probably more than you imagined! You can see the whole process here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textile_manufacturing

Anyway, here I am - part of several yards of cotton cloth, rolled onto a bolt and waiting to be sold in a local fabric and craft store. Maybe I’m purchased by someone who loves to sew, and who sees me as the perfect material for a future project - only that project has been put off for now. Or maybe no one wanted to buy me, even after they marked me down - but the store where I sat for so long is now donating me to something called Masks for the Lehigh Valley, whatever that is. I have a feeling it’s something good.

Wait a minute - where are we going? Into this huge washing machine, with a bunch of my fabric friends? Hey, there’s that cute print, the one with all the golf clubs! And those fancy florals, I remember them. They never stop laughing and kidding around. We’re all going for a ride, with lots of hot water and soap, and then another ride in a dryer. Wow, that was fun! And I feel so clean…

Okay, another trip, in another big truck. This time, we end up at a place called the Fab Lab. A nice lady named Monica spreads me out on a big table and flattens me out with an iron. Then a guy named Sean pops me into a big machine - and now I feel like I’m in a science fiction movie! Is that a laser beam coming at me? A couple of passes and some of my extra fabric falls away. I am now a small piece of cloth, and there are some others just like me. We all get placed inside a plastic bag, along with some thread, some elastic, and a couple pages of instructions. Wonder where I’m headed next…

(For further adventures of our mask, stay tuned!)

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