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Face Masks and other strategies to help slow Covid-19 spread

missy

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This has been adapted some, the one I'm making has a pocket so Dr's and Nurses can insert their own filter material. This one is made to extend the life of N95 masks.


For the more experienced, a very good mask that easy to make

even if you don't really have any material you can use reusable shopping bags

Some hospitals have their own programs and tutorials to create masks


An exceptionally good tutorial

Joann's Fabric also has a tutorial

If you sew and have the material and time to do it, there's the facebook group
.
Thanks @Arcadian. Appreciate the info.
 

strawrose

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993
Thanks @missy. And yes, that pink mask is cute!

Does anybody know the grade of fabric is useful for hospitals? I looked at the interfacing on hand, but maybe they need something thicker?
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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It appears that Hong Kong is having a resurgence. 44 new cases including a 20-month old child. :((
Oh no. That’s so sad. :(
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Thanks @missy. And yes, that pink mask is cute!

Does anybody know the grade of fabric is useful for hospitals? I looked at the interfacing on hand, but maybe they need something thicker?
Hi @strawrose, I’m sorry-I don’t. There’s some info in the link @Arcadian shared.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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@strawrose some hospitals have very tight tolerances. 100% Quilter's Cotton is the higher grade tightly woven stuff they almost always want. Some will accept jersy (t-shirt material)

You must prewash the material in hot water, dry on high heat (this is to ensure it can withstand what they're going to do to it, no fabric softener.)

Those of us with Pets they are asking that we minimize them being around the projects understandably.

My final wash will be sal suds and white vinegar to remove smells, and anything I might have put on the masks. they will then be steam ironed and packed. they will be washed before use at the hospital (of course).

Some hospitals ask for you to sew straps, some want elastic. elastic is becoming hard to get, so hair ties, paracord (bungie type) will work.

Many don't want you to add a filter, they will either use over their current masks to make them longer lived if possible or, will add their own filter.

Many want light colors for some obvious reasons, but sometimes you do what you can do.

There are some that have absolutely nothing, or they're at the point of reusing and just need the help to make it through because order leadtimes are dismal.

@pearlsngems, thats great... the unfortunate thing is it won't be enough. Hospitals are literally being jacked for face masks...even among their own staff....sad to me!!
 

strawrose

Brilliant_Rock
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May 24, 2014
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@strawrose some hospitals have very tight tolerances. 100% Quilter's Cotton is the higher grade tightly woven stuff they almost always want. Some will accept jersy (t-shirt material)

You must prewash the material in hot water, dry on high heat (this is to ensure it can withstand what they're going to do to it, no fabric softener.)

Those of us with Pets they are asking that we minimize them being around the projects understandably.

My final wash will be sal suds and white vinegar to remove smells, and anything I might have put on the masks. they will then be steam ironed and packed. they will be washed before use at the hospital (of course).

Some hospitals ask for you to sew straps, some want elastic. elastic is becoming hard to get, so hair ties, paracord (bungie type) will work.

Many don't want you to add a filter, they will either use over their current masks to make them longer lived if possible or, will add their own filter.

Many want light colors for some obvious reasons, but sometimes you do what you can do.

There are some that have absolutely nothing, or they're at the point of reusing and just need the help to make it through because order leadtimes are dismal.

@pearlsngems, thats great... the unfortunate thing is it won't be enough. Hospitals are literally being jacked for face masks...even among their own staff....sad to me!!
thanks! That was way more informative than what I have been reading. I just didn’t want to send them useless masks.
 

bling_dream19

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Joined
Feb 21, 2019
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@missy thanks for starting this thread.
Even though I am staying home, I still would like a mask. I'm on etsy and trying to decide which ones to buy. @Arcadian do you know of anyone supplying masks with the quilters cotton?
So far, I've narrowed it down to 2 types:
1. a mask with 4 layers of cotton
2. a mask with cotton and merv 13 filter
Are either of these any good?

Does anyone have better suggestions? Or a preferred vendor?
Thanks everyone and be well.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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33,799
@missy thanks for starting this thread.
Even though I am staying home, I still would like a mask. I'm on etsy and trying to decide which ones to buy. @Arcadian do you know of anyone supplying masks with the quilters cotton?
So far, I've narrowed it down to 2 types:
1. a mask with 4 layers of cotton
2. a mask with cotton and merv 13 filter
Are either of these any good?

Does anyone have better suggestions? Or a preferred vendor?
Thanks everyone and be well.
My pleasure. I am sorry I cannot say which one is best and I was unable to source "quilters" cotton and still not sure what that is...I know tightly woven cotton is good as are masks made from vacuum bags but my guess is those might be hot to wear. Greg made mine with tightly woven cotton on the inside and a pink poly on the outside.

Maybe @Arcadian can offer more info for you. I am glad you are getting a mask as any mask is better than no mask and every little bit helps. Stay well!
 

Arcadian

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You can make a mask out of 100% cotton and use Filtrete 1500-1900 (or MERV13) filter paper. Vaccuum bags are ok but they must be hepa filter bags. Filtrete makes one for Miele vaccuums that the right type. However be aware that you MUST wash the cotton mask daily. Hot water, hot dry.


20200324_162707.jpg mask3.jpg mask2.jpg

These are my mask prototypes. I've made 40 of these already. Waiting on additional supplies to make more.
 

bling_dream19

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 21, 2019
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Thanks Missy and and Arcadian! I ordered a fun mermaid one from one company and ordered the 4 layer cotton black one for hubby and a pink one for me from another company. going to order 2 more for my parents. Not sure how much it will protect but its something. I haven't left the house though lol so not sure when I'll wear it. I've been walking in the neighborhood staying away from people and not wearing a mask. Hubby has still been going to work 1 to 2 days per week and he will wear one. I think any layer of protection is helpful.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Once again the US government got it all wrong :(
The chinese government got it wrong. They could have lock down Wuhan in early Jan. by doing that it would have saved lots of lives around the world. This is like the arsonists advising people how to put out the fire... :rolleyes:
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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The chinese government got it wrong. They could have lock down Wuhan in early Jan. by doing that it would have saved lots of lives around the world. This is like the arsonists advising people how to put out the fire... :rolleyes:
Let's just all agree many of our governments could have done a better job.
But right now we have to focus on saving lives.

We are in this together and there is just no room for partisan politics right now.

Let's work on getting through this crisis as best as possible.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
3,149
The chinese government got it wrong. They could have lock down Wuhan in early Jan. by doing that it would have saved lots of lives around the world. This is like the arsonists advising people how to put out the fire... :rolleyes:
I remember one of the arsonists from the Paradise fires was a firefighter. Yes, having to ask the "arsonist" does nothing for your anger and pride, but sometimes the arsonist IS the foremost expert, and they know how best to put out the fire. I don't think highly of people who put their pride over other people's health and safety.
 

Dancing Fire

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I remember one of the arsonists from the Paradise fires was a firefighter. Yes, having to ask the "arsonist" does nothing for your anger and pride, but sometimes the arsonist IS the foremost expert, and they know how best to put out the fire. I don't think highly of people who put their pride over other people's health and safety.
So you do agree with me about the Chinese government cover up?. The only thing the chinese government should get credit for is spreading Covid 19 around the world.
 

voce

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So you do agree with me about the Chinese government cover up?. The only thing the chinese government should get credit for is spreading Covid 19 around the world.
Yes of course there was a cover-up. In my opinion, that is. I don't want to argue with anybody that says otherwise. However, griping about the Chinese government does as much good as griping about Trump not doing enough. It's venting negative emotion without any productive outcomes. Too late to change anything already done. Not even America can make the Chinese government pay without war, which will surely hurt countless Chinese citizens, so it's not something I'd support.

The more you take on the Chinese government head-on, the easier it is for Chinese government propaganda machines to turn it into a story about pushy and selfish Americans, and cement their power. If America makes threats, it only reinforces Communist power. You have to win through cultural influence, not arms. So I see a lot of your anger and the actions of the American government as counter-productive.

You may not know this, but well educated Chinese citizens are skeptical of their government at least as much as the average American is skeptical about the efficacy of American government. They just live in fear of outright revolution.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 17, 2008
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7,025
Its pretty impossible for the person at home to make an N95 mask because most don't have access to the materials. They also have some pretty key features. But a mask of any type is better than nothing.

If you find that the mask has gaps, then double sided tape Double sided tape (thats skin friendly of course) is what will work with a DYI mask.

Masks MUST be washed after each use. hot water and soap. Some are using interfacing in the masks. Many hospitals are saying no interfacing (it can be hard to breathe through) I'm doing no interfacing, a pocket for removable filter or mask. Some masks I've made are wearable over an N95 to preserve the life of that mask.

Newest masks I'm making fit very snug with no gaps accommodates a lot of face shapes. This pattern was validated by a medical facility so they're very strict on what they want, not yet for the front line folks but for others that are working in the hospitals that also need protection. I'll post what they look like when I have a few done.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
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May 13, 2018
Messages
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N95 mask material, from what I've heard, requires very thin fibers to be woven very tightly. I don't think natural fibers are thin enough, though some come close. I remember reading an article through MSN about how N95 mask material is in a shortage worldwide, how many Chinese companies are trying to produce it, but the machines that blow dry plastic into these thin fibers are difficult to make (maintaining uniformity when the fibers are shaped by hot air is a major challenge), and the German company specializing in these machines says it takes 6 months to make a machine to make the material. A rep from the German company said he was receiving four dozen phone calls a day from China to buy their equipment, and he really couldn't source them anything in the time frame they wanted. There's plenty of businessmen all over China who want to make money churning out masks, but given the material shortage and the shortage in equipment to make the N95 mask material they are trying to make their own equipment in much less time. I have a sneaking suspicion this is what is leading to defects in the masks that they are exporting. Someone somewhere is trying to cut corners in a process that should be meet a high standard of quality control in order to produce N95 masks for sale and distribution.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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These are the new version for a very particular medical group. I can't say I blame them but my goodness these stretched my skills!

I had to do some prototypes for them and get their approval for which one they wanted.

And they wanted a few things.
  1. They needed a mask that did not have gaps. I think there were issues with surgical type masks they received.
  2. A pocket to add or remove wire. They got that plus I top stitched across the nose so that the shape wouldn't get wonky in the wash.
  3. A pocket for a filter. I put one all the way across so they could use as big of a filter as they needed to.
  4. if using elastic go around the head like traditional N95's and not on the ear.
  5. Be able to change out the elastic if it breaks. I did loopholes which allows for lots of possibilites up to 1/2 inch.
  6. Double stitching everywhere to resist fraying.
  7. Make big enough to go under the chin and the sides are to be flat against the face.
  8. Dual colored, no hospital blue.
  9. To be light colored 100% tight woven cotton. I told them it would have to be a mix as thats all I had (they were OK with this)
  10. They were particular on the size. That maybe was the part I waste the most fabric on because they had to be N95 friendly in case they wanted to put one over it.
  11. non fogging yeah right...lol these are pretty good for those with glasses.
  12. Gender neutral. I told them I would do my best but I can't guarantee that. (they were OK with this considering some communities are on lock down)

This is the approved version

20200331_150123.jpg 20200331_150141.jpg 20200331_150149.jpg 20200331_150313.jpg 20200331_150353.jpg

These were way harder to make but they are extremely durable, probably the best made mask out there as it has no gaps, fits snug around the face. Its not an N95 but its still better than nothing.
 

Attachments

bling_dream19

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 21, 2019
Messages
1,523
These are the new version for a very particular medical group. I can't say I blame them but my goodness these stretched my skills!

I had to do some prototypes for them and get their approval for which one they wanted.

And they wanted a few things.
  1. They needed a mask that did not have gaps. I think there were issues with surgical type masks they received.
  2. A pocket to add or remove wire. They got that plus I top stitched across the nose so that the shape wouldn't get wonky in the wash.
  3. A pocket for a filter. I put one all the way across so they could use as big of a filter as they needed to.
  4. if using elastic go around the head like traditional N95's and not on the ear.
  5. Be able to change out the elastic if it breaks. I did loopholes which allows for lots of possibilites up to 1/2 inch.
  6. Double stitching everywhere to resist fraying.
  7. Make big enough to go under the chin and the sides are to be flat against the face.
  8. Dual colored, no hospital blue.
  9. To be light colored 100% tight woven cotton. I told them it would have to be a mix as thats all I had (they were OK with this)
  10. They were particular on the size. That maybe was the part I waste the most fabric on because they had to be N95 friendly in case they wanted to put one over it.
  11. non fogging yeah right...lol these are pretty good for those with glasses.
  12. Gender neutral. I told them I would do my best but I can't guarantee that. (they were OK with this considering some communities are on lock down)

This is the approved version

20200331_150123.jpg 20200331_150141.jpg 20200331_150149.jpg 20200331_150313.jpg 20200331_150353.jpg

These were way harder to make but they are extremely durable, probably the best made mask out there as it has no gaps, fits snug around the face. Its not an N95 but its still better than nothing.
You are incredible @Arcadian I am in awe and I know SO many people are so appreciative of your gifts.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
33,799
These are the new version for a very particular medical group. I can't say I blame them but my goodness these stretched my skills!

I had to do some prototypes for them and get their approval for which one they wanted.

And they wanted a few things.
  1. They needed a mask that did not have gaps. I think there were issues with surgical type masks they received.
  2. A pocket to add or remove wire. They got that plus I top stitched across the nose so that the shape wouldn't get wonky in the wash.
  3. A pocket for a filter. I put one all the way across so they could use as big of a filter as they needed to.
  4. if using elastic go around the head like traditional N95's and not on the ear.
  5. Be able to change out the elastic if it breaks. I did loopholes which allows for lots of possibilites up to 1/2 inch.
  6. Double stitching everywhere to resist fraying.
  7. Make big enough to go under the chin and the sides are to be flat against the face.
  8. Dual colored, no hospital blue.
  9. To be light colored 100% tight woven cotton. I told them it would have to be a mix as thats all I had (they were OK with this)
  10. They were particular on the size. That maybe was the part I waste the most fabric on because they had to be N95 friendly in case they wanted to put one over it.
  11. non fogging yeah right...lol these are pretty good for those with glasses.
  12. Gender neutral. I told them I would do my best but I can't guarantee that. (they were OK with this considering some communities are on lock down)

This is the approved version

20200331_150123.jpg 20200331_150141.jpg 20200331_150149.jpg 20200331_150313.jpg 20200331_150353.jpg

These were way harder to make but they are extremely durable, probably the best made mask out there as it has no gaps, fits snug around the face. Its not an N95 but its still better than nothing.
Very nice @Arcadian!
They are very lucky to have you and your considerable skills!
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,025
Thanks. @missy when I first got the request I was scratching my head. they were using hardcore sewing terms!! I can do pretty good but yeah, I'm not exactly quilting level...lol)

The unfortunate part, I can do about 10 every 2-3 days which is pretty slow.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,488
I have a sneaking suspicion this is what is leading to defects in the masks that they are exporting. Someone somewhere is trying to cut corners in a process that should be meet a high standard of quality control in order to produce N95 masks for sale and distribution.
That's what I been saying all these yrs. "avoid chinese made products" whenever you can. They'll cut corners just to make a few extra bucks.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
3,149
That's what I been saying all these yrs. "avoid chinese made products" whenever you can. They'll cut corners just to make a few extra bucks.
First of all, I think to generalize all Chinese people as cutting corners is discriminatory, wrong, untrue.

Secondly, there are plenty of people elsewhere in the world who cut corners, including plenty of American capitalists.

Point number three, singling out Chinese as people who cut corners to make a few extra bucks is about as fair as those vendors who refuse to knowingly conduct business with PriceScope members on the basis that "all PriceScope members are a PITA who waste vendors' time." I don't agree with those vendors in singling out PriceScope members for being bad customers who waste their time (not true for all PriceScope members), and I don't agree with you in singling out Chinese as people who inherently cut corners just to make money (not true for all Chinese people).
 

lyra

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Messages
4,910
@Arcadian That is an incredible mask! I wish I could have ordered some like that. Mine are paper thin, pretty useless, but were all I could get. We can use them over disposable masks (we have a couple), and they have a filter pocket. But no wire or wire pocket. They are the same shape as yours, and do fit tightly.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 17, 2008
Messages
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@Arcadian That is an incredible mask! I wish I could have ordered some like that. Mine are paper thin, pretty useless, but were all I could get. We can use them over disposable masks (we have a couple), and they have a filter pocket. But no wire or wire pocket. They are the same shape as yours, and do fit tightly.
I think the reason no one is making them like this is the time and expense. Pretty sure someone thats got more experience would be able to knock these out quickly, but its still a lot of cutting and measuring. I thankfully am a bit of a fabric hoarder (I used to make my pups clothes when we lived in New England) so I had a nice head start for fabric, but I will need to order more cotton.
 
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