Tang’s Alterations to Distribute 6,000 Masks

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By Katrina Wilson

As of April 8, Tang’s Alterations Bridal and Bespoke delivered over 1,280 handmade masks to first responders in the area amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Originally, the business planned to make and distribute 1,000 masks. Now that they have surpassed their goal, their new goal is to distribute 6,000.

The idea for these came from nurses requesting help.

“We consulted with two doctors,” said Xiao-Yin Byrom (Tang), president of Tang’s Alterations Bridal and Bespoke. “One is an infectious disease doctor.”

The inside of the masks

The shop is using elastic, HEPA filters (traps small particles and allergens) and fabrics with vibrant designs to make the masks. There is a video on their Facebook page showing step-by-step how to create masks by using at-home products and HEPA filters. It is not CDC tested, but offers protection.

“The design was created by us here in the shop to cover a maximum amount of face with no gaps, provide comfort and use a minimum amount of elastic,” said Kenny Loveless, Vice President at Tang’s.

Byrom described the response they have received since creating and distributing the masks.

“The gratitude is overwhelming,” Byrom said. “We see tears every day. The nurses in particular say they feel safe.”

How to Make a Mask

The videos steps are highlighted here. Individuals will need a ruler, stretchy fabric, safety pins and a HEPA filter.

  • Find stretchy material, like an old maxi dress. Turn it inside out.
  • Material should be 20 inches across and a width of 10 inches. The goal is to cover the face cheek to cheek and cover the nose down to the chin. In the video, it is mentioned those with larger faces or beards may use a stretchy material longer than 20 inches across and a width longer than 10 inches.
  • Lay material on a flat surface, fold it in half. Now that the material is in half, an individual with a smaller face can probably line safety pins vertically on the material at the eight inches mark.
  • At eight inches, the circumference of the mask is 16 inches. Those with beards or larger faces may need their half to be larger than eight inches. In the video, Byrom said, going up an inch makes the circumference two inches wider. Therefore, nine inches is now 18 inches in circumference, 10 inches is now 20 inches in circumference, etc.
  • Once the material is a good fit for the face, place the safety pins at the suitable inches for your fit. Fasten them in place. Turn the material outside in.
  • Test by placing finished mask over the head to cover the nose down to the chin. Make sure it covers cheek to cheek.

Supplies used to create the masks at Tang’s Alterations.

Tang’s is asking for donations of 100% cotton fabric, .25” elastic, HEPA grade filter cloth and sandwich bags. They also have a GoFundMe account and have received over $3,000 to purchase materials for the face masks. Call (703) 393-8458 for information about dropping off your donations.

 

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