How about a dash of kasavu on your mask this Onam?

How would you like your mask for Onam? A slim gold border with a tiny, gold embroidered elephant; a red strip or a black one with a heat print of a Kathakali actor; Theyyam motif or a simple off-white and gold one. With the festive season, mask manufacturers have turned to manufacturing the ‘season’s specials’ referred to as Onam masks.

“We have had several enquiries for Onam masks — off-white and gold and festive looking ones, which is why we got into making these. Individuals and companies too. People want the masks to match with their Onam outfits,” says Reshmi Praveen, a manufacturer of masks. These masks are two-ply. She and her husband, Praveen Symphony, run a unit in Tripunithura, which has been manufacturing masks since lockdown.

Masks by Reshmi Praveen

Not only have they been manufacturing for wholesale stockists, they retail as well. For those looking to match their masks with the Onam Kerala sari or set-mundu, the off-white and gold ones are perfect. Black and ivory masks with Kerala motifs — Kathakali, Theyyam, mural paintings — printed on them are unisex. The designs are heat printed on the masks, the effect of the motifs is dramatic.

Mask with Kathakali motif

Mask with Kathakali motif  

Kottayam-based designer Dona Ann Kurian has kept her Onam masks simple — sticking to off-white and gold with a contrast border: red, maroon, blue and green. “I wanted to keep to these basic colours as they are likely to go with most Kerala sari-blouse combinations,” Dona says. Her three-ply masks, with adjustable ear loops, come in two sizes (kids and adults) like Reshmi’s and two shapes — regular and curved at the nose.

The fashion design student retails her masks via Instagram (@crafted_donut). While Dona has no minimum order stipulation for shipping, Reshmi has a minimum five masks policy. Dona’s masks are priced ₹70-80 depending on the pattern and Reshmi ₹200 for five. (Reshmi 74033110044/Dona 9819973967)

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