AN eco-firm has designs on helping families cope with coronavirus – by making personalised children’s masks using the kids’ own drawings.

Natural Wraps in Stevenston, North Ayrshire, produces reusable alternatives to cling film. The beeswax and rice bran wraps are aimed at cutting waste and customers can choose from a range of prints or have bespoke items made up in their own designs.

Now the family firm is using its high-tech printer to make a new range of products thanks to a brainwave from founder Pauline Gilmour.

The grandmother-of-nine came up with the idea for personalised cotton face masks as a way to help children feel more comfortable wearing the virus guards when out in public. Customers can send their own designs to the company’s arm to have these made into washable masks by its six-strong team.

The service is also available to adults, but Gilmour, who founded the business with son Duncan Smith, hopes it will be especially helpful to younger people.

She said: “As a mother of five and grandmother of nine, I know that allowing kids to use their creativity and create something as unique as they are lets them feel that they’re part of the process, and should hopefully feel a lot more excited about wearing a mask – especially as they can show off their own artistic skills.

“Anything we can do to alleviate worry and stress after everything schoolchildren have been through in 2020 has to be a good thing.”

The move comes after Nicola Sturgeon announced a new drive to develop sustainable production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in Scotland to supply domestic and overseas markets.

Smith told The National the FlaceFash masks aren’t designed with clinical use in mind, but are proving popular across borders.

Orders have come in from countries including Spain, Italy, Denmark, France and Switzerland.

He said: “During the pandemic, we had to shut the factory for a couple of months, and we thought about what we could do to keep our people in work. Our ethos is about reusable stuff and we saw a lot of stories about masks being thrown away, so we thought this was a nice fit. Next year people might not be wearing masks, but in the meantime there is a need.”