SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A lot of people have been using their free time to sew protective masks because they are sometimes hard to find at area stores.
But all that sewing is creating another type of shortage, one you probably didn’t think about.
A lot of people are doing what they can to help out during the pandemic. But if you’re looking to buy a sewing machine to sew masks, good luck finding one.
Gladis Guzman normally cleans houses for a living, but business has slowed down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now she’s been busy sewing protective masks.
“With all this free time we have we decided to use our time to do something that helps the community survive this pandemic,” Guzman said.
She has sewn 150 masks so far to donate to hospital workers, but she had to stop.
“My sewing machine got broken, so I came to Fonder to see if we can replace it or fix it, because we need to continue to keep working until all of this is gone and we want to do as much as we can,” Guzman said.
But sewing machines are hard to come by right now.
“The companies are telling us that they are selling out of machines across the country, they’re warning us and suggesting to us that we order machines now, because they have machines on backorder, so we can keep up with the demand of sewing masks or keeping yourself occupied during this time of troubling times,” Ben Reiser of Fonder Sewing Machine said.
Fonder Sewing is also selling elastic to make the masks and that’s getting harder and harder to find as well.
They still have some sewing machines for sale, but most of their time, now, is spent fixing machines like Guzman’s.
“The repairs are coming in 10-12 a day, so we can’t keep up with the demand there, but we are working our very hardest to get machines repaired in a timely manner and get them back to the customer,” Reiser said.
Because there’s a shortage of elastic, Fonder Sewing is only selling 15 feet of it at a time to customers.