Learn to Sew Your Own Mask

— Written By Renay Knapp and last updated by
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One hundred and two years ago, in 1918, the Spanish Flu epidemic raged through North Carolina and our nation. Members of our North Carolina Home Demonstration Clubs and County Home Demonstration Agents gathered together to form nursing squads. The members and agents were not trained nurses, but many of them had received training in-home nursing. Members made and distributed large quantities of food to the sick. They tended to the critically ill in local emergency hospitals. They joined forces with the Red Cross and together made thousands of masks to be worn to help stop the spread of influenza.

Extension and Community Association (ECA, previously known as Extension Homemakers) Members are asked to make Homemade Face Masks. The cloth masks that are being made are not N-95 grade medical masks. They are masks that can be used (already in some states) to cover reused, professional, medical-grade masks. Our local grocery store clerks, postal workers, sanitary workers, electricians, adult residential community residents, and staff, daycare workers, Cooperative Extension staff, neighbors, relatives, and friends all need your help. The wearing of a mask may soon be a requirement for all of us. Working with various organizations, there is still a need for face masks and/or headbands with buttons. If you could commit to making, even a few face masks or headbands, it would help so much. Here is the link to the instructions, complete with step by step instructions and photos.

If you have questions, please contact Renay Knapp, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent at renay_knapp@ncsu.edu. We need to do our part. Let’s all, individually, jump feet first, into this most necessary Homemade Mask Project. Along with good hygiene practices, exercising the habit of physical distancing and observing the stay at home order, we can help flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus.

Face Mask Instructions