Women across the Valley make medical masks for local health care workers

Heather Dean sews a medical mask | Photo: WHSV
Heather Dean sews a medical mask | Photo: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 4:47 PM EDT
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Women across the Shenandoah Valley are working together to make medical masks for local health care workers.

Heather Dean owns Peaceful Sewing in Dayton and has a stack of fabric that will equal 100 masks. She has been working tirelessly to sew the masks, which she says is a process.

"I have to wash the fabric, iron it, cut it, sew it, iron it again and wash it... and then it's done," said Dean.

She said each mask takes about 30 minutes to make. They are made from a layer of cotton, flannel and elastic straps. She said in this time of uncertainty, it's a way for her to give back.

"Just so I could do something that helps everybody else," smiled Dean.

She is working with other women in the area to sew masks and they are asking for donations of fabric, elastic straps or bias tape. The fabric should be 100% cotton and can have any design on it, but they ask that the flannel is plain white or black.

Donations can be dropped off at Mane Street Salon at 201 Main Street in Dayton, or you can contact Peaceful Sewing at 540-214-9370.

Meanwhile, in Broadway, Ceci Esposito was inspired to organize a group of people to make masks after her niece was in need of one.

"This is something that I can facilitate. I can get people, hopefully, who have materials or need materials and get them started on these masks," said Esposito.

She said with fabric masks, health care workers must change them every two hours, so there is a huge demand for the product.

"The more quilters or the more seamstresses we can get, the quicker we can get the supply going," said Esposito.

She and her mother, along with other volunteers, have donated 40 masks to the Harrisonburg Health and Rehabilitation Center, and are looking for more places to donate.

"Our health care workers are our front line. If they start becoming ill, we lose them to help others that we love," said Esposito.

She said her goal is to get as many people involved in making masks as they can.

Esposito is looking for folks who would like to help sew, donate, or places who are in need of donations. She can be contacted by emailing or by calling 703-532-7375.

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