Inmates sew fabric masks

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — An effort is underway to churn out hundreds of fabric masks a day and they’re coming from an unlikely source: inmates at the Waiawa and Kulani Correctional facilities.

With the assistance of the Hawaii Correctional Industries, inmates are sewing as many as 700 masks a day.

They hope to get that number up to 1,500.

The masks will first be distributed throughout the Department of Public Safety as well as to inmates before going to other state agencies.

Once those orders are fulfilled, HCI hopes to open up orders to outside agencies.

This sewing project began on April 1.

To meet the increased demand, HCI is grateful to be working with Hawaii Fabric Mart and Printex Fabrics, but they are also seeking donations from the public. There is a need for more sewing materials such as:

  • sewing machines
  • sewing machine needles
  • new fabric by the yard (100% cotton or any poly cotton fabric)
  • plastic tables
  • irons w/ small tabletop ironing boards
  • fabric scissors
  • thread – all colors

If you would like to donate equipment and/or sewing supplies, please contact Hawaii Correctional Industries at 808-677-6638 or email

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