Typically, students at Karen’s School of Fashion spend their time learning the ins and out of dress sewing and design.
But with her classes transitioning online during the coronavirus crisis, owner Karen Lozner decided another task would take priority: making washable cotton and polyester masks for health care professionals.
“First and foremost, we need to protect our doctors and those in the medical field,” Lozner said. “If you don’t take care of the doctors, how are they going to take care of the sick?”
Karen’s School of Fashion has locations in Marlboro, Little Silver and Manhattan. About 25 to 30 students, ranging in ages from teenagers to adults, will each make about five masks at home by the end of the week, she said.
Happy to say that we are ALL working together on the mission to help doctors and their teams. My #littlesilver student (only 8) who I’m so very proud of took on this project without any reservations! So proud of her and all of my other students who have partaken in this journey! pic.twitter.com/WtDL2QfPno
— Karen Lozner (@KarenLozner) March 29, 2020
Lozner, who opened the business in 2012, designed the masks herself. They’re made from cotton on the outside and polyester on the inside. Last week, she showed students how to do it.
“If we don’t have the supplies at hand, we made them out of whatever supplies we had at home,” Lozner said. That could mean pieces of fabric from cotton sheets and polyester from pillows.
The masks are not the same as the sought-after N95 masks in demand right now, but they are helpful for other uses, she said. “They do offer some protection,” Lozner said. “We’re not making any claims they are N95.” But they can be worn over a N95 mask, she added.
She also made sure they can stand up to being washed and sterilized, Lozner said.
She has already distributed masks to the doctor’s office and will send out more when her her students have them ready.
“I don’t think people really understand how deep this and how much we are all in this together,” Lozner said. “We can make a difference if we do this together.”