Arlington JOANN Store Customers Sewing Masks for the Community
By Office of Communication
Posted on April 02, 2020, April 02, 2020

Editor's note: JOANN is out of fabric mask kits but still providing free remnants for crafters. You will need to purchase elastic if you don't have any on hand.   

The customers at Arlington’s JOANN store are sewing from a pattern they never dreamed they’d be using.

As communities around the world work to stop the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19, there has been an increased demand for face masks. Leaders at the fabric and craft store spotted the trend and quickly put together free sewing kits.

Crafters in Arlington answered the call. The first round of home-sewn masks was distributed to the Arlington Housing Authority, which gave them to local shelters and nonprofits. Now masks are going to at-risk community members, including first responders.

“It's been amazing to see how many people are teaching their children to sew. And many others are relearning a skill they have not used in many years,” said Arlington JOANN Creative Studio Coordinator Jennifer Howell. “We have handed out many kits of fabric, elastic, and thread over the past few weeks. The response has been incredible.”

While the masks are not medical grade, they can help slow the spread of germs by covering coughs and keeping people from touching their faces. Howell says the mask pattern is quite simple for people who know basic sewing techniques. And that group is growing.

“Many of our customers are now spending more time with their family and wanting to teach valuable skills,” Howell said. “People want to help in any way they can. Some cannot financially but have amazing skills that they can put to use.”

JOANN is giving away free fabric remnants for interested crafters and offering curbside pickup at its Arlington (137 Merchants Row, Suite 165) location.