Volunteers Needed To Make Masks
The Community Health Protection initiative (CHP) is creating homemade masks to provide protection for our local frontline healthcare workers from the spread of COVID-19. We have been contacted by multiple healthcare related organizations for first-line workers protection and have requests for over 500 masks at this point. Time is of the essence, so please invite friends or acquaintances familiar with sewing or quilting or who will cut the patterns to join our “Community Protection Team”.
If you’re unfamiliar with sewing, monetary donations in any amount is appreciated through our GoFundMe account. These funds will be utilized for supplies needed or to purchase masks once they become available.
Please direct questions to the CHP initiative organizer, Dr. Stuart Surkosky at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your efforts to help safeguard our community.
Here are the most up-to-date directions as of 4/14/2020
Recognizing that many caring volunteers are in the process or may be considering making protective masks, PLEASE review the recommendations below. Although no mask is perfect nor can guarantee .3 micron or less of filtration, this one represents the best choice based on our cumulative investigation.
Follow this link to Craft Passion website tutorial. Download the PDF and print the pattern as well as watch the full video tutorial from CRAFT PASSION. They name their sizes as: Small Kids 3-6 years (XS), Young Kids 7-12 years (S), Teenage/Women (M), Men (L). For our purposes, use the abbreviations XS, S, M, L. For those with more experience, an XL could be made adding 1/8th of an inch to the center front seams as well as to the tops and bottoms of the main(front) panels and lining(rear) panels (but not the sides). We would suggest making a higher percentage of the larger sizes M, L, XL. Note that rectangular pleated masks are not recommended as the folds could allow for germs to harbor.
Read through our own directives for ensuring our masks are suitable for our frontline healthcare workers optimum protection:
- See pictures of a functional mask as a prototype below. It has three layers: the green front layer fabric is quilting quality tightly woven 100% cotton; the second layer is white “interfacing” that was ironed on to the back of the green; the third layer is again 100% tightly woven quilting quality cotton fabric and is yellow.
- The fabric should be washed first in hot water to address any shrinkage before it is sewn with the smallest diameter needle possible. It is preferred not to use solid red colors like maroon, burgundy or bright red to avoid the color from bleeding.
- The interfacing should be applied only after the fabric has been washed and before cutting out the pattern. If you choose to use the cotton fabric or a flannel as your middle layer (because of limitations in supply of interfacing), make sure it is also washed in hot water first because it will definitely shrink and another drawback is flannel will make the mask hotter for the wearer..
- The wire for the bridge of the nose effectively helps reduce the gapping of the mask and must be used. An option for the wire could be solid aluminum .035 diameter welding wire (purchased at Harbor Freight) or floral wire at no less than 6 inches in length. Pipe cleaners are not recommended as they will rust. Be sure the sharp ends are bent backward so they do not protrude. Craft Passions has added a sleeve for the nose wire making it easier to insert by simply stitching a 5/16th inch wide tunnel (at least 6 ½ inches long or the length to the openings of the pockets) to insert the wire from either end of the pockets into the center of the mask saves time & fabric.
- The cord/string doesn’t have to be a bias piece of fabric and can be a straight of grain fabric at 48 inches or you could use ¼ inch wide grosgrain ribbon. Singe the ends of the ribbons with a candle, just barely getting the ends of the ribbon into the flame to seal it so it won’t fray. You can use just one tie strap as seen in the prototype pictures that would loop around the back of the individual’s neck, around their jawline, up both sides of the fabric tunnels, past their temples and tied on the top of their head. This makes ”cinching” the sides and tying a lot easier. Double knot the ends of the straps to avoid them from slipping out of the tunnels during washing.
- The mask has two pocketed openings as demonstrated by the pens in the picture just in case someone would want to add a 4th layer of fabric or additional filter material that could be removed before washing and sanitizing. Also note that the pockets open in the rear of the mask just inside of the tunnels for the strap. Therefore, it will not be able to gap from the front and still allows the three-layer surface to be effective. The mask itself is comfortable and snug which is what is desired.
- As an additional matter of safety, the wearer should put a paper mask or other barrier over top of this cloth mask. That way the user can alcohol/disinfectant spritz the paper mask and let it dry or if they have enough inventory just replace the additional paper mask. The cloth mask you will be creating will be able to be sanitized through washing with appropriate cleaning agents and hot water. The workers will all need at least 2 masks each. Make sure you label your masks with appropriate size with something that won’t wash out as they come in 4 sizes. They will all be washed again before distribution.
Drop Off – Care Chiropractic Center
837 Evans City Road #202, Renfrew, PA 16053
Please drop them in plastic bags in the right-hand side vestibule at Care Chiropractic Center in the box labeled “MASKS”. Make sure to LABEL the bag with the NUMBER of EACH SIZE of the masks donated. The vestibule outside door will be open for receiving from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. We will be coordinating delivery from there. Masks that have already been made not following the Craft Passion design are also being accepted.
For questions please contact:
Dr. Stuart J. Surkosky, Director
Care Chiropractic Center
837 Evans City Road #202
Renfrew, PA 16053