A RETIRED fashion designer is hoping to encourage a ‘small army’ of people to create handmade face masks to combat coronavirus.

According to Judy Barnsley, 69, all you need to be able to do is sew in straight lines.

Judy, a self-employed designer in the 1980s, has made dozens of the masks after seeing a video online on why even homemade masks can significantly reduce the risk of infection.

To find the video, search for ‘#masks4all’ on YouTube.

“There must be so many women in this town who can sew,” said Judy, of Park Grove.

“I would be surprised if most women in Barnsley didn’t work at SR Gent at one time in their lives.

“All you need is a sewing machine and some spare fabric.”

Judy uses offcuts of fabric used to make garments, but said any fine woven fabric will do and the elastic can be found cheaply online.

“We could have a small army of people making these,” she said. “You can put them in the washing machine or the oven to sterilise them and re-use them.

“I think maybe the public weren’t encouraged to wear masks as the rush for them, as for toilet rolls, would have left the NHS short of stock.”