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The MU textile and apparel department making masks for MU Health


The MU Textile and Apparel Management Department is now using its equipment to help against the spread of COVID-19.

Claudine Barner, an instructor in the Textile and Apparel Department at MU, is working along with other professors and graduate students to cut masks out of approved fabric for health care workers to wear in the field.

"We started cutting our first masks seven inches by eight inches on Friday. on Friday and Saturday we cut 2,500 by hand and with the laser cutter and by yesterday, we cut 10,000 mass in one day," Barner said.

Graduate students and professors in the department are able to cut up to 10,000 masks a day with a laser cutter which they normally use for garment design.

The department cuts the fabric, then ships it to people who sew the masks before sending them to MU Health.

"We're using a fabric approved by the Infectious Disease Department at the University of Missouri hospital it's a drapery lining with a coating on it for blackout purposes," Barner said.

We reached out to MU for comment and a spokesperson said in an email quote "at this time, MU health care has an adequate supply of n95 masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). we are extremely grateful to the entire community for all of their support. we have put together kits for making masks, and we're working with many different organizations and community members to assemble these masks." 

"Today, we have cut 21,000 masks, and we are receiving more fabric. at the end of the week," Barner said. "Our goal is to cut 100,000 mass at the hospital's request."

Barner said the masks are also washable and dry cleanable to help conserve the number of masks given out and thrown away.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in settings where facemasks are not available, healthcare personnel might use homemade masks for the care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect healthcare personnel is unknown.

Boone / Columbia / Coronavirus / Health / Top Stories / Top Stories

Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto started working with ABC 17 News in June after graduating from California State University-Channel Islands with a degree in organizational communication. He reports weekday evenings and weekend mornings.


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