Quality Vac & Sew, Inc. | Winona, Minnesota
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 1213 Gilmore Avenue Suite E2B
Winona, MN 55987
(507) 452-2203

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Hi Gang! In response to the flood of inquiries about making masks for the emergency, we have done a ton of research into what works, what is actually acceptable to hospitals and so forth, and tried to distill it down into usable form.
First, most designs ask for elastic to be used, but we have found that when they are washed repeatedly with bleach, the elastic breaks down. For that reason, we recommend making your masks with fabric straps, which allows the mask to be fitted to different sizes.
Second, we recommend making the back side as a pouch (like a pillow cover), which allows the user to insert a filter if they like.
Third, a rigid band, either light wire, pipe cleaner, etc in the top seam allows the mask to be fitted around the nose.
Finally, you can make the filter insert from a number of HEPA Vacuum Bags or Precut HEPA Filters for a variety of brands of vacuums. While not as high a filtration rating as the N95 Masks the medical professions use, it does afford about a 1-micron filtration level in many applications. Certainly can't hurt. Feel free to give us a call if you have questions about bags & filters for various vacuums.
Below is a link to a video done by a good friend of ours who owns a shop in New York, showing how he constructs the mask. You will see he is using elastic, which is fine. You can also substitute ties as I have already mentioned. This mask design does meet the requirements we received from Gunderson Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse ( I'll post that information separately. Here's the link:

We originally planned to have folks come in to help us make these, but recent restrictions prohibit that, so, we will instead be available for questions, and will act as a drop-off point if you have batches to be donated to Gunderson or Mayo and do not want to haul them down there. We will be glad to take all those collected to the hospital on your behalf.

Quality Vac & Sew, Inc. specializes in high-quality vacuum cleaners and sewing machines from innovative brands such as Miele, Lindhaus, Simplicity, Husqvarna Viking, and Pfaff. In addition to the largest selection of vacuum cleaners, sewing machines, and cabinets in the Winona, MN, area, we also carry a huge inventory of parts and accessories, including 100 different vacuum bags and over 2500 shades of embroidery thread. We proudly feature Aurifil 100% Cotton thread for sewing and quilting.

With over 30 years of industry experience, as well as a nationally certified service department, we offer expert product knowledge, qualified sewing machine and vacuum repair, exceptional training, and unparalleled customer service you just won’t find anywhere else! Read More...