STEP 2: Source Materials and Manufacture PPE

Partnerships with professional healthcare and manufacturing organizations are needed to manufacture PPE materials. Manufacturing PPE materials involves the following:​

  • Sourcing PPE materials​
  • Manufacturing and packaging PPE kits​
  • Assembling PPE​
  • Disinfecting assembled PPE

Sourcing PPE Materials

Partner with healthcare organizations and manufacturing organizations who have experience sourcing and contracting with national and global material manufacturers. International shipping experience will greatly improve the likelihood of successfully moving materials across borders when fabric is unavailable locally. ​

Fabric requirements vary based on the kind of PPE being produced. Below are recommended fabric and other materials for PPE based on what was used for ProjectProtect in Utah:

Face mask materials (see Face Mask Differences): 

  • Clinical masks (for healthcare workers and caregivers) require medical-grade 40-gsm weight polypropylene material. 
  • One clinical mask requires an 11 x 15-inch (or 30 x 40 cm) panel of fabric. Multiply this by the number of masks you plan to produce. For example, if you were to make 100 masks, you would need 16,000 square inches of fabric, or approximately 13 square yards or 10.4 square meters of fabric. 
  • Tie straps can be made of the same material as the mask, or 9” elastic string may be used for ear loops.

Gown materials:

Face shield materials

  • 0.030”(.76mm) thick clear polycarbonate (cut to 48.0”[1.2 m] x 96.0”[2.4 m] x .030”[.76mm] and masked on both sides). See Adult Face Shield Design Pattern for more details (also see Terms of Use).​
  • Elastic is 1.25” (31.75 mm) wide.​
  • Foam forehead cushion attaches with two-sided tape.

Manufacturing Face Masks

Partner with a manufacturing organization capable of receiving and processing high-volume fabric or material to create kits for volunteers. Adjust kit size or time to meet manufacturing constraints and community volunteer needs in your area. For example, feedback from thousands of community sewing volunteers has confirmed that five days is enough time to assemble 100 clinical face masks.

Assembling Face Masks​

ProjectProtect has engaged community member volunteers to sew clinical face masks in their homes for healthcare workers. See Cloth Face Covering Options and Clinical Face Mask Assembly Guide (also see Terms of Use) for step-by-step instructions community volunteers can use to assemble face masks. We recommend providing paper copy instructions for each volunteer sewing masks.

Disinfecting Face Masks​

Disinfecting assembled face masks is the final stage of manufacturing required prior to distributing to healthcare workers or community members. Partnering with professional healthcare organizations often provides access to disinfecting equipment and facilities. Face masks should be free from pet hair or other contaminants (blood, food, etc.) prior to the disinfecting process.

Manufacturing Face Shield​

Partner with a manufacturing organization capable of receiving and processing materials needed for face shields.

Assembling Face Shields​

ProjectProtect has engaged businesses to assemble face shields for healthcare workers. Assembly of face shields includes attaching foam (using double sided tape) and elastic to cut polycarbonate material.

Disinfecting Face Shields​

Disinfecting assembled face shields is the final stage of manufacturing required prior to distributing to healthcare workers or community members.

Manufacturing Gowns

Partner with a manufacturing organization capable of receiving and processing materials needed for gowns.

Assembling Gowns​

ProjectProtect engaged Beehive Clothing, a nonprofit clothing manufacturer, to sew gowns for healthcare workers. Assembling gowns includes cutting the fabric and sewing gowns using pattern. See Surgical Gown Pattern for details (see also Terms of Use).

Disinfecting Gowns​

Disinfecting sewn gowns is the final stage of manufacturing required before distributing to healthcare workers.

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