A cohort of skilled seamstresses has been turning out dozens of gowns, disposable hats and masks for NHS Western Isles in the past few weeks.
They are from Lewis and include Mary Lou Stilwell, Marjory Mackenzie, Morag Duncan, Nana Maclean, Anna Suslova, Larisa Spirina and Katie Macleod.
Ms Stilwell says she has been sewing for years, and discovered the trick for producing lots of gowns is to get a mass-production method under way.
She said: “I learned to sew clothes in home economics class in middle school and have taken various sewing classes over the years or through videos and books.
“I used to make my own clothes in high school and have been quilting for the past two decades.”
The seamstresses created their gowns by taking apart a surgical gown supplied by Chris Anne Campbell, who recently returned from retirement to NHS Western Isles to work on resilience during the pandemic.
They used fabric supplied by the NHS.
Ms Stilwell said: “It’s a multi-step process and it’s easier to sew them mass-production style.
“If I had to make one at a time I’d never get anything done, but I would approximate about 1-2 hours per gown to do it right.
“I wouldn’t say it’s difficult but there are steps to it and you need to do them in order and do them well.
“I am honoured to be able to help out so it’s time well spent.
“You’ve got to keep the staff safe so they can keep their patients safe, since it’s all about the patient.”
Mrs Campbell thanked the seamstresses, who have made more than 200 gowns.
She said: “These skilled local individuals have made us such important items of PPE to add to our current stocks, in preparation for the care of patients with Covid-19 symptoms. We are hugely grateful.”