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  • Writer's pictureTina Brand

Masking made meaningful

I made Lyn Streader stop long enough to talk to me about her mask making project. She's a busy woman, having leapt into this project in her typical fashion- not one to do things in half measures.

Lyn is a textile enthusiast and bower bird from way back but when a posting overseas came up three years ago and she was packing up the house with her partner, she gave a large chunk of her textile collection away.

Already running her passion project Black Cockatoo Textiles, where Lyn sources what she describes as high quality hand made textiles made by artisans from off the beaten track, urgently needed masks have become a natural addition to what one can purchase on the website. Fabrics from India and Africa, two parts of the world that are much beloved Lyn, are where most of the fabrics are sourced from.

Well I'm so glad Lyn held on to some of her favourite textile pieces, as she's now putting them to good use. Back in Brisbane after living in Fiji, Sydney, and then travelling extensively in Morocco and the UK, she's turned the downstairs of her New Farm home into a mask making studio for cutting, sewing and processing orders.

Out of this humming tropical studio is coming some of the most fun and vibrant masks now available in Australia. Always deft with her hands, Lyn's creations follow the protocol of home made washable masks with the correct layering, but her creative horizontal panel construction with curved upper panel which sits comfortably on the nose, looks like a folded origami treasure box which opens up and stretches comfortably over the face, sitting snugly on the nose bridge, while the panels above and below part to allow movement around the mouth so you don't feel constricted.

When I asked Lyn why she decided to jump on the mask making bandwagon, she chuckled wickedly saying- ' it's getting me away from dreaded household chores!'

Originally sending various prototypes to Melbourne family members who are in strict lockdown, Lyn has used their critical feedback to improve and perfect her beautiful fabric masks.

True to her conscientious heart of gold, Lyn donates proceeds from her sales to charitable organizations.

Find Lyn's beautiful masks on These masks are making people feel a little more positive in Sydney, Melbourne, country Victoria and Brisbane.

There's not a more beautiful and thoughtful gift you could send someone than one of these hand made Black Cockatoo Textile masks.

All images provided by Black Cockatoo Textiles.

Photo of Lyn Streader: kind courtesy of Wendy Moore.


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