Health Advice



Michigan crafters are sewing face masks for doctors and nurses

Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Health & Fitness

DETROIT -- Sarah Genova sat down at her sewing machine on Saturday and made about 30 face masks.

On Sunday, she was back at, hoping she can donate her homemade masks to medical professionals on the front line and provide some protection against the coronavirus.

With the cotton masks, Genova said she read there's only a 3% protection rate. Nonetheless she starting sewing.

"I had the fabric and elastic and started to create," Genova said. "I've always been a giver and a crafter. I had the ability to respond, so I did."

Genova, 34, who lives in Emmett near Port Huron, can churn out about five masks, start-to-finish, in an hour

Genova is donating all she makes. She's sending them to nurse friends in Florida and to extended family.


Genova and other crafters are busy at their sewing machines after hearing that healthcare professional are in dire need of protective equipment. From a shortage of masks to gowns to googles, the message is echoed daily.

Those who sew are finding patterns, revving up sewing machines, threading needles and churning out colorful fabric masks that, they say, might be better than not having any mask at all.

While hospitals need medical grade masks, Genova believes these sewn ones can be used with the recommended N95 respirator masks that are in short supply.

"The thought is to use them (homemade masks) over the N95 to prolong the usage of it," Genova said.


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