ARC fashion department designs masks to help the community combat COVID-19.

The American River College fashion department has begun to make masks for local hospitals and other groups (Photo courtesy of

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, protective face masks have become an important resource for people. However, due to shortages across the world, they haven’t been the easiest thing to find. 

This has opened up opportunities for students in the American River College fashion department to get creative and make their own with cotton quilting fabric and an elastic band.

The simplicity of the project has allowed students to make a large amount in which they have been distributing to companies. The main company they have been working with is the American Sewing Guild. The American Sewing Guild focuses mostly on fashion, but during the pandemic, the company has adjusted its focus on distributing masks locally. 

The American Sewing Guild isn’t the only group American River College’s fashion department is working with. Fine and applied arts professor Anne Dieu talked about some of the groups that the department has distributed masks too.

“We’ve had requests for masks from hospitals, correctional officers, and some other smaller groups,” Dieu said. “We thought the hospitals were going to be the only people that needed them so it was cool to see the correctional officers request.”

This has allowed the students to continue making masks for other groups and the numbers continue to grow,” according to Dieu, the count has reached over 500.

The count has reached 500, and though that might seem like a lot of masks, ARC fashion student Gabby Baker said that the key is to change up the fabric. 

“My favorite part is choosing the fabric,” Baker said. “I say I have plain fabrics but I rarely use them for clients.”

Baker says that she has made anything from sushi prints to Looney Tunes cartoon images. This allows for her to be creative rather than drone on with the same patterns and colors

These students saw a problem and got a little creative in the process of solving it. Thankfully we have people like the students in the ARC Fashion department to attempt and keep the public safe by providing them with facial masks.