Sewing skills once reserved for the purely decorative are being put to use in urgent ways during the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to an effort by volunteers in Great Bend to make fabric facemasks for health-care providers, public demand is increasing and one Great Bend business is now offering masks made specifically for children.
That Hipster Place is a home decor business operated by Kristie and Jerry Carmichael. They do a minimal amount of sewing at their business, Kristie stated, and hadn’t made masks previously. But, they were contacted by an out-of-the-area organization inquiring about whether they could produce face masks. After doing some research, they agreed to make them, but made sure the purchasers were aware that the masks are not PPE’s and need to be handled hygienically and washed daily.
They scaled down a pattern for adult masks and began producing the child mask. The masks include a poly fiber liner inside, and a pocket opening so the end-user can provide a filter. They’ve since been approached by a Wichita clinic and are continuing production.
The couple made the decision to close their shop a week prior to Governor Kelly’s emergency state-wide stay at home order in an effort to protect the integrity of their inventory. While initially their business slowed, they have an online Etsy store they are continuing to do business through.
As far as the general public is concerned, use of masks by healthy individuals is still not being recommended by health officials. The most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to wash hands often, avoid touching your face, and keeping distance from people who are sick. Sick people should stay inside and in quarantine if possible.