Mich Dulce’s group’s COVID-19 protective suit pattern is now the first “medically reviewed open-source suit design,” the milliner shared in a Facebook post on Wednesday, the same day she and her team released the pattern for medical front-liners’ protective suit.
People the world over are scrambling to make up for the shortage of PPEs or personal protective equipment for health care workers at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic, and Filipinos in the fashion and garment industries have organized to address the deficit.
The pattern created by Dulce, Kendi Maristela, Lea Empalmado and AJ Dimarucot was based on an actual protective suit provided them by the office of Vice President Leni Robredo, the Filipino milliner wrote on Facebook.
A message shared by Dulce with Lifestyle quotes Gui Cavalcanti, who heads the Facebook group Open Source COVID19 Medical Supplies in Berkeley, California.
“We are excited to announce that we have our first medically reviewed open-source suit design! The Open Source Medical Supplies medical team has reviewed this gown design, and suggests you make it out of the Tyvek 1433R (i.e. thin and flexible covering) you would find in any hardware store,” Cavalcanti wrote his group.
“Mich Dulce and her team in Manila reverse-engineered an existing isolation suit design, turned it into a pattern, and created an instructional PDF on how to make it. Alex Crease from Boston created DXF files for machine cutting, which will be posted in their repository soon,” Cavalcanti added.
Upon receiving Cavalcanti’s note on the required material, Dulce called on the volunteers of the Facebook group Manila Protective Gear Sewing Club to help find donors for Tyvek, a lightweight, breathable and water-resistant synthetic fabric made by DuPont.
Dulce is encouraging designers and sewers everywhere to standardize the suits based on the specs they provided.
Among those who have set out to produce them is the factory of fashion designer Rajo Laurel.
In a message to Lifestyle, Laurel said that apart from Tyvek, they also need 28-inch plastic zippers and ¼ garter thread.
Dulce’s tech pack has full construction details to minimize the seams, in keeping with standard medical-grade protective suits.
“Please note that while we have done our best to make it as impermeable as possible, these suits are not medical grade, but still can be used by other hospital workers and staff who don’t necessarily come in direct contact with patients,” Dulce wrote.
The suits will be distributed by the office of Robredo “so that they are delivered with the transparency that these are not medical grade suits,” Dulce added.
For queries: [email protected]; tel. 0906-4746084. For fabric and material donations: Cynthia Diaz, tel. 0917-8662496. For monetary donations: BPI Savings Account no. 416 959 1143 (Stephanie Tan), GCash Account no. 0906 474 6084 (Stephanie Tan).