DIY Masks: Let’s be proactive and help each other

Making face-masks is the new normal for our shoe factory; a way to help our local healthcare communities. Welcome to another blog about the impact of COVID-19, our novel common friend. Over a very short timespan we have seen many changes in the way we live so, what is our role in this era? The question came up quickly in our shoe factory when, as early as January, our worldwide contacts started to be affected and suppliers started to shut down. We are constantly in search of new materials, and were waiting for samples when we first heard what was happening in China. Fortunately, our suppliers here in the U.S.A. are able, for the time being, to provide us with the materials we need to make shoes, but we don’t know for how long that will continue because they do need some raw materials from Asia.


Face-mask and matching shoes
Face-mask and matching shoes!  ;-)

Things have changed rapidly in just the past few weeks and now we have turned over our production chain to make face-masks. A change we should have made sooner, perhaps, and we feel very behind as a manufacturer. At this point, we are focusing on meeting the demand of our local healthcare facilities. These are cloth face-masks approved by the hospital. We use the 100% cotton made in USA rip-stop camo fabric, including a pocket to add a filter; they are washable, durable, and can even be matched with our Camo models ;-) We use laces for the attachments, and we cut the paper filter in our factory. We are also helping another local company who is making face-shield masks for the police officers. Each effort counts.

It has become clear that we can spread the virus without showing symptoms. So, wearing a mask when out in public helps to protect other people. The CDC recommends constructing your own cloth mask, and let doctors and nurses get the medical-grade ones that are in short supply. Many countries have adopted that strategy and it is one other way to be proactive.

It is the reason we believe everyone should act quickly for their loved ones and for their community. If you can’t sew, you definitely know someone who can. If everyone was wearing a mask, and people with underlying conditions were staying home, the fight against the virus would be easier for everyone.

The instructions are simple, and well-explained on this site below, including patterns to cut. The only adjustment to the pattern that you may need to make is to the interior dimension, to get a good fit. Have two openings on each side, big enough to introduce a filter paper such as Tyvek.

Face mask example

You should use 100% cotton fabric, which is easy to find.  We used 36” shoe laces for the attachments. This is a mask that will be washable, durable, and will be there for you as long as you need it. Come on friends, do this, have fun, and help flatten the curve!

You will find all the instructions you need on JoAnne Fabric Stores website.

Here to print the patterns.

Here are the instructions how to make a face-mask.

Here are videos to watch on the face-making.

Send us pictures of your results, but most importantly, wear it proudly!!!!!!!!!!

Olie, SOM's CEO is wearing is mask proudly!

Olie, SOM's CEO, is wearing his mask proudly!


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