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Masks, What should I charge? April 16, 2020

Masks have now become essential items needed to carry out our Activities of Daily Living. The cloth masks we researched, refined and perfected weeks ago are now in demand. Many of you have been working tirelessly for weeks producing masks for free. Thank You! You are sew awesome! We helped to flattened the curve and the wave of need for masks seemed to lessen for just a second. 

BUT, now that businesses are required to supply masks to all their employees, people are once again scrambling for masks. As a result, many of you are being asked to step up again and make even more masks for free or are being offered so little to make them that it doesn't even cover your supply costs. I think that is deplorable. As a result many of you are asking how much should I charge?

People who don't sew have no idea how long it takes to make anything. Ask any sewist and they will tell you they are constantly bombarded by people to sew this or that. People think we just love to sew things and we should be appreciative that we are being asked to perform a task that we love! The thought of paying someone to do something they love simply doesn't cross most peoples minds! So when asked to make masks, I think you need to be prepared to tell everyone what goes into a well constructed masks!

The materials I use in my masks are simply the best quality 100% cotton that is available on the market. I add interfacing to increase the filtering ability of my masks and am able to say, because I have done the research, that it is pretty damn effective in it's filtering ability! See the study! The cost of the materials per mask is about $5. I've invested in some pretty expense equipment to stitch the mask together so it will hold up after multiple uses. Even though I have the best equipment available, the construction of each high quality mask takes 35-45 minutes! Really! One mask! I’m pretty skillful and it takes me at least that long to make a quality mask. Other items needed in the construction process include: irons, cutting tools, marking tools, and electricity and need to be added to the cost. Oh, I forgot one thing, sewing and sewing well is not done without knowledge, lots of knowledge! Sew what's the cost for all of that?  

So how much sewing friends? I would say not less than $20/mask and that is still a bargain! If someone balks at that price, tell them they can always make one of those quick no sew mask like the Surgeon General suggested! Remind them how simple it is. Just cut up a t-shirt and add some elastic bands! Yup, let’s just see how long that lasts!