SoCal fabric stores see increased traffic as demand for supplies surge amid face mask requirements

Popular fabric stores, like JOANN Fabric and Crafts, are experiencing long lines as many people have taken to sewing their own face masks.
FONTANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Shoppers who venture out of their homes for essential items are no strangers to long lines. Now, they're finding them at local fabric stores as the demand for those supplies surge.

In light of new requirements to wear facial coverings or masks across Southern California, many have turned to the homemade route as masks, like most protective gear, are hard to find.

Outside the JOANN Fabric and Crafts store in Fontana, shoppers lined up outside in the hopes of buying the supplies to make their own.

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Leslie Macias with Mission Landscape was hoping to make some for her co-workers - using some slight improvisations.

"We're looking into different ways, making ties out of fabric instead of the elastic. We're also looking into making the neck gators - the whole tubes that slip over your face," Macias said.

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We asked an expert from UCLA for tips on how to properly wear a mask.

For some, the stop at that location wasn't their first try. San Bernardino resident Johnny Melendez went to a few stores but couldn't find much. So he made the journey to Fontana.

He was there to find fabric for his mom, who started making masks for his co-workers, charging only $2 to recoup the cost of the fabric and other materials.

"My mom went in and started making these masks. She feels like it is her patriotic duty to help fight this war we're in, I guess," Melendez said.

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