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Sewing emergency face masks

03/21/2020 1:30 PM | Cisa Kubley

As you may have seen, this article about Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, IN has been making the rounds online in the last few days with a call for those with sewing knowledge to help fill the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the form of homemade face masks for use in case of supply shortages during the Covid-19 outbreak. There are dozens of other patterns, instructions, and articles going around as well. We're passing this information on to you for in case you are interested.

We have not been able to independently verify whether the masks are effective.  Medical devices are not my area of expertise and in this time of need, different medical facilities may have different needs and requirements for these last resort masks. I am working with the information that I have to try to help you make sense of the information out there.  

If you find yourself with free time, as many of us currently do as we practice social distancing to keep our communities safe, consider making masks for your local hospitals, cancer treatment centers, and other medical offices.

Contact offices in your area for details on if and how to make and deliver masks. These masks are for last resort use only, so be sure to ensure your local providers are accepting them before investing your time and materials.

CDC guidelines regarding PPE

Deaconess video on how to make a mask

Pattern for mask

German blog with instructions and pattern for mask with filter pocket

Information regarding mask materials

Additional information regarding effectiveness


  • 03/22/2020 8:23 AM | Linda Miller
    Thank you for providing this timely information. I just came from Joann Fabric & Craft store, where I met several people in line purchasing fabric to make masks. There were an emergency room doctor and nurse buying many yards of fabric to sew mask themselves. They expressed their appreciation for people, like you and me, who are willing to produce these masks; they are required to change the mask after each patient. They also mentioned that for some hospitals (in FL), the mask needs to be plain, no print on the outside; it can frighten the patient. Saw another lady and her daughters buying fabric for firefighters. Sew, let's all get busy and beat Covid-19.
    Link  •  Reply
    • 06/23/2020 6:49 AM | GraceAllen
      These masks will give more protection to health care providers, emergency personnel and other workers who are unable to protect themselves from social distance as they work to save lives and stop COVID-19 spreading.
      Link  •  Reply
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