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How to Make a Face Mask

 
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r ranson wrote:

I think if we can get people to understand masks aren't a substitution for social distancing and handwashing, the media might be on to something.  Homemade masks might make a big difference to reducing the spread.  But there is a genuine concern that saying this will take supplies away from those who need it most.

Which is why just as we're encouraging people to plant a garden, encouraging people to sew enough masks for family and friends will got a long way to helping with this problem.

Hmmm... Could we set up a PEP badge bit for this one? On the fly?

I may try to sew some of those folded ones today and see if I can use old sock strips as the "elastic". For many people that would be good enough - some people need something that fits better than that (like me) but many people seem to do fine with the folded ones.
 
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I sent an email off to some people about making it a PEP bb
 
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No need to sew, if that's not one of your skills.  Check out this video, in which Jeremy Howard explains why my mask protects you and your mask protects me, and how to make a mask from a t-shirt and paper towel, using a sizzors:



Check out this inspiring video and the file of links to understand why the universal use of masks is very effective, and has the possibility of flattening the curve while allowing some degree of economic activity:



https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HLrm0pqBN_5bdyysOeoOBX4pt4oFDBhsC_jpblXpNtQ/preview#heading=h.9yzpxufkt5ow
 
r ranson
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Here's a bit about homemade maks by the British Columbian Health Officer.



I think it is a really good overview of the risks and benefits of homemade masks

She talks specifically about materials needing to be easy to breathe through and wash regularly.
Staff note (Roberto pokachinni) :

I understand that cotton is best for its washability and breathability. Wash in hot water with detergent.

 
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This just arrived in my inbox
https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/02/coronavirus-cloth-masks-recommendation/?utm_source=STAT+Newsletters&utm_campaign=b5390d2883-breaking_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8cab1d7961-b5390d2883-149932941

White House expected to recommend all Americans wear cloth masks to prevent coronavirus spread


They note it is not final and that the guidelines are expected to stress leaving N95s for the professionals and using cloth masks to protect others in public.
 
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Yup, Mayor de Blasio recommended some kind of facial barrier today, but it doesn't sound like an official City guideline / requirements ... yet.

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2020/04/02/nyc-mayor-de-blasio-urges-new-yorkers-to-cover-face-with-scarves-or-bandanas.html
 
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Finally the authorities are telling us to wear masks!
Before too long, perhaps, they will also recommend gloves. I still see some folks in the supermarket 'feeling' the produce to judge its ripeness. These seem to be *also* the folks who don't care to mask, by the way.
Think of the glove as another skin, which you can wash as frequently as your own hands when you enter a new store or get back to your loved ones. A small container with a little towelette and rubbing alcohol is nice: You can wash your gloves when you get back in your car.
It is just another layer between you and Covid 19 and infected folks. Think of all the things you touch in a day that could be infected. and the alcohol is in case you don't have the skill to turn the glove inside out without touching the outside of the glove, which can be just as contaminated as our hands. It is certainly less of an imposition as the mask, but botyh should be used, besides social distancing.
It is just good old common sense, folks.
 
r ranson
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been sewing today
mask-small.JPG
[Thumbnail for mask-small.JPG]
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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r ranson wrote:been sewing today




Kitchen towel? Lint-free? It looks great. I wish I still had my sewing machine.
 
Tereza Okava
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Question from the fool in the room.
Tea towel? What exactly is a tea towel, and what makes it so good for this application? I have some kitchen towels that are definitely quite loose weave, like I wouldn't be able to use them to strain small seeds for sprouts, for example.
I assume this is a cultural thing, as here (where 100% cotton is not easy to find, forget about a nice thick one) the orientation is to use either nonwoven fabric (the stuff used to make surgical drapes and gowns) or "whatever woven fabric you have" (read: poly/cotton blend, like the type people use for quilting) together with a coffee filter. A lot of people are using old clothes.
 
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Tea towels (often called dish towels) are usually 100% cotton, linen or a blend of the two.  That makes for fast drying and good moisture wicking.  Synthetic towels don't pull the water off the dish and need to have extra fancy weave structure to make work.

They are usually a plain weave so they are strong and durable for this kind of application - and cheap to make.  The weave often starts out loose but with many washes in hot water, the holes close up quickly.  An old tea towel can be used to boil pudding or hold water in or out for short periods of time.  

I wouldn't want to use anything synthetic on a reuseable face mask.  The individual fibres break down - especially with frequent washing in extra-hot or sanitize cycle - and can irritate and cause inflammation in the lungs.

I'm also worried about nonwoven fabric for reusable facemasks.  Woven cloth traps the individual fibres inside the cloth, but the nonwoven fabric has to stick together somehow.  What 'glue' is it?  Is it safe to breathe this glue?  being next to the skin heats the mask, and medical masks have safety tests to know that the glue is safe to breathe.  But then, washing the nonwoven cloth breaks down the glue and fibres, which changes how they interact with the human body.  
 
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Thanks, R.

Washing in hot water is also not a thing here (most people don't have hot water in their houses. Shower water is heated on an electric device right on the shower head itself). Then again, I can dry my mask in the hot sun. Some things just don't move well from culture to culture.

(The suggestion I read on an official site this morning was to make your mask from plastic produce bags and a coffee filter. I will be using cotton blend quilting fabric, as my concern is for protecting other people rather than myself and that is what I have)
Staff note (Julia Winter) :

If you wash in cold water, with soap or detergent, you're probably good. If you can expose it to 70C (160F) for half an hour, that sterilizes it.

 
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Tailor's been busy. The nurses and people working with people don't need these selfmade ones anymore, a shipment of proper masks came in from China for France.
In Holland still nobody has them, it's an outrage .
masks.png
[Thumbnail for masks.png]
 
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Wool is antimicrobial, right? I wonder if a well-felted wool layer would be good. You'd want it felted so it doesn't lose shape in the wash. Would it be too hard breath through, though?
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Wool is antimicrobial, right? I wonder if a well-felted wool layer would be good. You'd want it felted so it doesn't lose shape in the wash. Would it be too hard breath through, though?


I can't see how wool, felted or not, could filter invisible particles. On the other hand, it would be much easier to breathe through than a bra cup, which I've heard being used. ☺
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Wool is antimicrobial, right? I wonder if a well-felted wool layer would be good. You'd want it felted so it doesn't lose shape in the wash. Would it be too hard breath through, though?



Will antimicrobial wool stop a virus? Depending on the thickness of the materials, it should be fine to breathe through but what should folks use to sanitize such a mask? Hot water is probably out: It might shrink the wool. Hydrogen peroxide? Rubbing alcohol?
Having 2 layers of different weaves would definitely be helpful though.
 
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The resource from Stanford (on the potato phone, don't have it at hand but it was posted up thread) compared cleaning methods and it looked like alcohol and bleach soaks were not effective, but that 10 minutes of steaming was.
 
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Paul Wheaton's keynote presentation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vZPTPIHO8w
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