Open source scrubs released in effort to increase UK PPE supply

United Kingdom

9 April 2020

Designer Danielle Elsener has released an open source pattern for a “Zero Waste Scrub Set” intended for anyone to share and use.

“Please use for the good of the NHS staff and all medical workers in need of proper equipment,” writes Elsener, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Arts’ Menswear MA. Scrubs have been reported as one of the PPE (personal protective equipment) items in short supply for NHS workers across the UK.

The patterns provided can be printed at home on either A3 or A4 paper. The combined sheets create a full paper pattern for making fabric scrubs. On the website, Elsener explains: “I am also working with fabric printers to make these available to buy with pattern printed on, allowing you to simply cut and sew.”

The initial pattern released is in a size M, with Elsener hoping to release different sizes in the days to come. Elsener also asks makers to use any leftover fabric strips for mask-making.

Elsener does not state on the website what type of fabrics makers should use to create the scrubs, perhaps hoping that the templates can be used for the majority of makers with spare or waste fabric at hand.“It’s not a perfect solution,” she says, “it’s simply an active response to this time of need.”

Scrubs have a simple design to reduce the risk of contamination. Unlike fabric face masks fashioned at home, which are not appropriate for hospital settings, home-made scrubs are able to be used in healthcare environments as long as they are able to be washed at high enough temperatures.