It is amazing how responsive and creative some embroidery and fabric small local companies have been when they have heeded a White House urgent request. The federal government sought businesses that would be able to produce large-scale amounts of critical masks to help the nation respond to the Coronavirus pandemic, especially since the CDC recommended that the public wear cloth masks. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had estimated that there is a need for a huge number of 3.5 billion face masks.
The machine innovations were handled quickly and have resulted in hundreds of masks being made available on a continuing basis by patriotic businesses such as the following:
Instant Monogramming, a Rochester sewing company that normally decorates things with embroidery, is able to stay open because they are doing a lot of uniforms for nurses and doctors at customers such as Rochester Regional Health. However, owner Debbie Bloom feels that making masks is important for the medical community. They are getting help from Joann Fabrics, who gives away free kits at curbside pickup showing how to make face masks for hospitals. Although those face masks are not technically medical grade, the CDC approved those homemade fabric masks as a crisis response option.
Smooth Athletics, a Virginia embroidery company, has delayed their usual production so they can make masks for their Waynesboro/Augusta County/Fishersville community’s first responders and health care workers. On their Facebook page, they are asking for donations of 100% cotton or cotton blend fabric to help make the masks and to help to convert their operation to the production of masks for those on the front line of the COVID-19 emergency. They are also impressed with their team’s willingness to shift and new skills.
DigiStitch Embroidery, a small Waynesville, Ohio, company, which normally designs, sews, and embroiders fabric, began getting requests for masks every day. They never expected to be sewing fabric together to make masks for a pandemic. Health care professionals cannot test or treat COVID-19 patients unless they wear face masks and protective gear. DigiStitch digitized a face mask design and had quickly produced an initial 175 masks for donation to Kettering Health Network as well as private health care providers. Their plan is to produce hundreds more. The only thing slowing them down is needing materials, and they have asked for donations of 100 % cotton fabric, elastics, and thin bias tape. The company works with flat pieces of fabric that are sewn with their current embroidery machines.
Want to learn how you can make masks? Here are some guides: