Wanda Murray is putting her time off to good use

Wanda Murray is a flight attendant, yarn dyer, spinner, weaver, seamstress—and now, mask maker.

“I had gone to the U.S. in March to take a seminar on dying yarn,” says Murray. “When I returned, I had to self-isolate for 14 days.”

While in self-isolation, Murray sewed a few fabric masks to wear on flights. But after her self-isolation was over, she decided to take the voluntary layoff the airline offered.

Contact Murray via her Facebook page or Facebook messenger. | Wanda Murray

“I thought, ‘maybe I’ll make a few masks’ and it snowballed.” People got word of her masks and she’s gotten orders from not only Edmonton, but as far as the United States. 

She originally made the masks with a pocket included so people could insert a surgical mask or an N95 mask. “But now, I’m not encouraging that because the medical staff need the N95 masks.” People can still insert some sort of filter in the mask, but they should do their research to ensure it’s healthy for them to use. “I’m not putting a wire in the nose, but people can put in a wire or a pipe cleaner—it will give them a better seal.”

Murray uses cotton with 180 thread count for the masks. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, had previously said for only those who are ill to wear masks. However, in early April that advice changed, with the idea now being that some people are infected with the virus but don’t know it yet. Wearing a mask can also prevent people from touching their face, but people should wash fabric masks after every use. 

Murray is making about 35 masks a week. | Wanda Murray

Needless to say, Murray is busy. “I’m managing to make about 35 masks a day.” 

Interested buyers can look up Murray’s Facebook page (Wanda’s Fabric Face Masks: www.facebook.com/groups/2558182801101112) and contact her via Messenger to place an order. Masks are $10 each or five masks for $40. Payment can be made through e-transfer and the buyers can pick up the masks in Murray’s mailbox of her Westwood home.

 She adds, “I’ll keep making them as long as I have supplies.”Murray’s sister, Cheryl Wohlgemuth, is also making masks, so people can check her Facebook page called Cover You Face MASK (www.facebook.com/groups/512505246082430) to place an order.

Featured Image: These fabric masks are made by Westwood resident Wanda Murray. | Wanda Murray