Share a Thobe for Mask Making

Share a Thobe for Mask Making is a joint campaign between The Army of Masks and SustainableQATAR to support people in need during the global pandemic. 

The Army of Masks is a grassroots virtual community of volunteers helping Qatar to flatten the curve by sewing and providing Do-It-Yourself (DIY) washable and reusable fabric masks to meet the urgent need for face coverings during COVID-19. Since the Army of Masks was launched on March 20, 2020, it has provided close to 20,000 face masks worldwide to essential workers fighting the pandemic and to communities in dire need. 

News Flash: Inspired by the Army of Masks in North America, a local initiative recently launched in Qatar in partnership with the American Women’s Association of Qatar. The initial result of that partnership was to help sew DIY facemasks for healthcare workers, as well as patients and visitors in US hospitals that had no or few supplies when the pandemic hit. The fabric masks are intended to supplement, not replace, N95 masks and surgical masks. In just four weeks, volunteers in self-isolation cut and sewed 1,330 face masks that were sent to the Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Florida. UPS Qatar joined the team to sponsor, handle, and ship the precious cargo, staying true to the Army of Masks’ motto: “We are in this together.”

Realizing the need in Qatar, the Army of Masks provides masks for community groups upon request. Army of Masks’ volunteers worked diligently to develop a mask that offers reliable protection and found that tightly woven fabric, for instance from thobes, men’s dress shirts, and high quality sheets, appears efficient for containing droplets from breath.

In most cases, the masks sewn by Army of Masks volunteers are cut from discarded cotton fabric and deconstructed cotton clothing, including discarded thobes. The material from one old thobe is sufficient to make more than 20 masks.

The Army of Masks works with Doha Stitches, a local sewing and crafting group that creates comfort items for local hospital patients, uses every scrap of the leftover fabric pieces to fill pet beds and gift these to Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS). There is no waste. 

The Army of Masks and SustainableQATAR co-created this campaign during the global pandemic drawing on our shared values to become part of the solution. Together we can create and deliver protection for people in need, advancing a circular economy right here in Qatar.

SustainableQATAR is an independent, action-based think and do tank that raises awareness, creates actionable knowledge, and encourages connections and collaboration between individuals and groups for environmental sustainability. The co-creation of this campaign celebrates the sustainability efforts by the Army of Masks and Doha Stitches and is fully aligned with SustainableQATAR’s vision to build an educated, connected and engaged community that contributes to making this world a better place.

Everyone can play a part. Follow SustainableQATAR’s call to action and contribute to this Share a Thobe for Mask Making campaign by collecting old thobes and dress shirts for the Army of Masks. Complete the form below to arrange for drop off or pick up.

If you have difficulty completing the form, you may send email using this link.

* DISCLAIMER: “These fabric face masks are not intended to replace surgical, N95 or any similar healthcare grade type of masks. It is a contingency plan for those who cannot obtain official surgical masks on the market and these masks are only intended as a makeshift last-resort aid, when all other masks suitable for medical or first-aid responders are not available. These masks will not eliminate risk of inhalation of aerosolized virus particles. They will decrease the probability of transmission of airborne particles when people are coughing or sneezing. Because the virus survives on contaminated surfaces, they will serve as a constant reminder to not touch your mouth and nose with potentially contaminated hands, and therefore decrease the probability of accidental transmission. These masks make no health protection claim against the COVID-19 virus or otherwise. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.”
Provided by Army of Masks