People sought to sew health-care supplies

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WTVQ) – A health care group is asking people who know how to sew to make cloth surgical masks to supplement the short supply available to health care providers.

And the medical group suggests other providers might seek similar assistance in the community.

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And it’s happening, as Gov. Andy Beshear said during his briefing Monday, noting nurses and others at UK Health Center and other locations are sewing their own gear.

Owensboro Health has been reaching out through technology to get assistance.

“Fabric masks offer the benefit of being able to be washed and re-used. Still a large supply is needed, as each healthcare worker will need to change their mask several times during their shifts, as the mask becomes soiled or damp – for maximum protection,” Owensboro Health said in a statement on its Web site.

“We aren’t worried about looking stylish – but we are concerned about functionality. Non-matching fabrics, thread, binding strips are just fine – but a well sewn mask with no frayed edges or missed seams or ‘holes’ is important,” it continued.

Owensboro Health recommended:

  • It is most helpful to use a standard pattern to ensure proper fit and function.
  • Please use the following patterns. They are most similar to our current products.
  • Recommended fabric for the outer portion of the mask includes heaver, non-stretch fabric such as denim, duck cloth, canvas, twill, or other tight woven fabric.
  • Recommended fabric for the inner lining and filter pocket can be other cotton, cotton-blend non-stretch fabric. It can be thinner and softer, but again recommended minimal or non-stretch.
    • Must be laundered in HOT water prior to sewing to prevent future shrinkage.
  • Polyester or other less breathable fabric will not work as well, due to moisture produced when breathing.
  • If using denim or other fabric that is being “recycled”, please be sure it is clean and in good shape. Worn or dirty fabric will not be protective.
  • Elastic should be in good shape, with plenty of stretch and of an appropriate size to fit over the ears. 1/16 inch round cord or 1/8 inch braided work best.
  • If elastic is not available, fabric ties can be sewn on the mask. There will need to be 4 ties (one tie on each of the 4 corners). Ties should be approx. ¼ inch in width, sewn in such a way that there are no frayed edges, and long enough to be tied into a bow on the top of the head (for the top corner and behind the head for the bottom corner).

Owensboro Health plans to list a drop off site this week. They encourage others interested in helping to call a hospital or health care provider in their area.