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By The Skanner News
Published: 26 March 2020

Many healthcare workers are faced with shortages of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) – including facemasks — and people across the country are pitching in to fill this void by sewing fabric masks that can be used when other manufactured supplies are not available.

According to CDC guidelines, in settings where facemasks are not available, health care providers might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. While homemade masks will help fill the void during this public health crisis, they are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown and caution should be exercised when using this option. The goal of Cascadia's mask donation project is to get more masks and PPE into the hands of people who need it and to do it safely, without risking the further spread of COVID-19.

To help support the community and essential healthcare workers during this crisis, Cascadia will be coordinating a mask donation project for community members who are willing to get out their sewing machines and create homemade masks. Community members are welcome to create adult-sized masks, donate them to Cascadia, and they will help distribute to healthcare workers our community.

A PDF of DIY instructions can be found here: Make A Mask_Directions. The use of tightly-woven cotton fabric on both sides is recommended, to ensure masks are as durable and effective as possible. The fabric pattern is courtesy of The Turban Project and was recently shared on Deaconess Hospital’s website. Feel free to use other patterns as well.

When your masks are complete, email Cascadia at [email protected] to arrange for delivery. Collected masks will be immediately sent to be sanitized and be prepared for use.

Masks will also be distributed to other organizations in need. If you are an organization in need, please email [email protected]

Mask Materials:

  • Cotton fabric. The use of tightly-woven cotton fabric on both sides is recommended, to ensure masks are as durable and effective as possible.
  • Rope Elastic, or beading cord elastic. You may also us 1/8” flat elastic.
  • Cut the elastic 7” long and tie a knot at each end (DO NOT knot the ends of the flat)

Mask Directions:

(Additional video instructions found here)

Put right sides of cotton fabric together (cut 9×6 for an adult sized mask). Be sure any fabric design is placed horizontally.

Starting at the center of the bottom edge, sew to the first corner, stop. Sew the elastic with the edge out into the corner. A few stitches forward and back will hold this.

Sew to the next corner, stop, and bring the other end of the same elastic to the corner and sew a few stitches forward and back.

Now sew across that top of the mask to the next corner. Again put an elastic with the edge out.

Sew to the next corner and sew in the other end of the same elastic.

Sew across the bottom leaving about 1.5” to 2” open. Stop, cut the thread. Turn inside out.

Pin 3 tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are the same direction

Sew around the edge of the mask twice. It is so easy to make this. Be sure any fabric design is placed horizontally.

Mask making resources:

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