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DIY Masks - What are the best materials

CalGalTraveler

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geekette

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Vacuum cleaner bags!!??

I'm using double layer of tight weave cotton, closer to tea towel than pillowcase or tshirt.

This was very interesting, thanks!!!
 

CalGalTraveler

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I haven't sewn since high school but this may inspire me to pull out that old sewing machine.
 

Quilter

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My girlfriend back home (I'm currently at a timeshare in Florida) is making masks with her 2 sons for the hospital her husband works at. She needed elastic. I called my BIL who's watching our house and sent him into my sewing area to look and see if I had any. My sewing closet is a dangerous place for someone with OCD. :) I should know.

Anyway he was glad to look and be a part of this project. Put it in the mailbox so no one had to come in contact with others.

Now I've been thinking about this for several days. My doctor said masks don't protect well people. However he also wrote in his blog:

"One question I was bothered with was why so many younger male Chinese were dying from COVID-19. It seems that in other countries, COVID-19 was primarily killing the old and the sick. Which is just what you would expect from a regular influenza season.

I was speaking to a colleague today, Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD. She is an immunologist who I have been following for years. She forwarded me two articles that could explain why the Chinese (and young Chinese males) suffered such a high rate of mortality from COVID-19.

A February, 2020 article about coronavirus reported that the virus is able to invade the body by binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE 2). ACE 2 is expressed in mucosal lining of the oral cavity. So, when exposed to coronavirus, COVID-19 gains entrance into the body by binding to the ACE 2 receptors in the oral cavity."

If well people wore a mask then the virus can't bind to receptors in the mouth. It also prevents hands touching the mouth.

I've been on several planes since 1/1/20. Flu season and I had an entire family in the row behind me sick on the first plane (DTW 1/1). The mom made no bones about the family having caught the flu from the plane ride there. On another plane I sat next to Typhoid Tom who coughed and sniffed the same snot for over an hour. I thought of asking him to go to the bathroom to blow his nose. I was wearing a mask for protection and put a drop of Thieves essential oil on it.

Going forward should we all get our wardrobe of homemade, washable masks to wear during flu season? Would the flu numbers be cut down if schools and airlines required masks during flu season?

Just wondering out loud?
 

VacationForever

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My girlfriend back home (I'm currently at a timeshare in Florida) is making masks with her 2 sons for the hospital her husband works at. She needed elastic. I called my BIL who's watching our house and sent him into my sewing area to look and see if I had any. My sewing closet is a dangerous place for someone with OCD. :) I should know.

Anyway he was glad to look and be a part of this project. Put it in the mailbox so no one had to come in contact with others.

Now I've been thinking about this for several days. My doctor said masks don't protect well people. However he also wrote in his blog:

"One question I was bothered with was why so many younger male Chinese were dying from COVID-19. It seems that in other countries, COVID-19 was primarily killing the old and the sick. Which is just what you would expect from a regular influenza season.

I was speaking to a colleague today, Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD. She is an immunologist who I have been following for years. She forwarded me two articles that could explain why the Chinese (and young Chinese males) suffered such a high rate of mortality from COVID-19.

A February, 2020 article about coronavirus reported that the virus is able to invade the body by binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE 2). ACE 2 is expressed in mucosal lining of the oral cavity. So, when exposed to coronavirus, COVID-19 gains entrance into the body by binding to the ACE 2 receptors in the oral cavity."

If well people wore a mask then the virus can't bind to receptors in the mouth. It also prevents hands touching the mouth.

I've been on several planes since 1/1/20. Flu season and I had an entire family in the row behind me sick on the first plane (DTW 1/1). The mom made no bones about the family having caught the flu from the plane ride there. On another plane I sat next to Typhoid Tom who coughed and sniffed the same snot for over an hour. I thought of asking him to go to the bathroom to blow his nose. I was wearing a mask for protection and put a drop of Thieves essential oil on it.

Going forward should we all get our wardrobe of homemade, washable masks to wear during flu season? Would the flu numbers be cut down if schools and airlines required masks during flu season?

Just wondering out loud?
So you have lost me. So why were so many younger male Chinese dying from COVID-19?
 

Quilter

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So you have lost me. So why were so many younger male Chinese dying from COVID-19?
Oh sorry, I didn't copy the whole blog post because I was focusing on these receptors in the mouth. Here's what follows in that blog post. Don't give me grief about his recommendations. I've included them for those interested. If you're not interested then ignore them. I've included the citations he added with the blog post.

"Guess where other ACE 2 receptors have been found? High ACE 2 expression has also been found in lung cells. (2) Pneumonia is one the most serious problems associated with COVID-19. ACE 2 has also been identified in other areas of the body including the esophagus, heart, kidney and bladder. All these organs are potential risks of infection for COVID-19.

Here’s where things get more interesting. An older 2015 study (3) looked at smoke inhalation and the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome.The smoke exposure given to rats resulted in an increased expression of ACE 2 in the lungs when compared with controls not exposed to smoke.

Which population of people would be more prone to having ACE 2 receptors elevated in the lungs? Cigarette smokers would. In China, smoking is at a markedly higher rate than it is here. In fact, there are estimates that over 350 million Chinese are cigarette smokers. (3) This accounts for over a third of the world’s smokers. When you factor in the increased levels of pollution which may do the same thing, this would result in a higher death rate from a COVID-19 infection in China as compared to the US.

In China, 60% of males smoke while only 4% of females do. COVID-19 has been reported to be more deadly in males from the information coming out of China. In America, less than 20% currently smoke cigarettes. That includes about 16% of men and 12% of women. Currently, 34 million Americans smoke cigarettes. These numbers have been declining for decades.

This should give reassurance to non-smokers. For those who smoke, here is another reason to stop. If you are a smoker, I advise you to take vitamin C (3-10,000 mg/day or to bowel tolerance), vitamin A 10,000 IU/day (unless you are pregnant), and vitamin D (6-10,000 IU/day). If you become ill with a viral infection, I would suggest following my viral protocol from the previous posts: For four days, take 50,000 U of vitamin D3 and 100,000 U of vitamin A per day). After the four days, resume the previous dosing. It is best to work with a holistic doctor who can monitor your levels as both vitamin A and D can become toxic.

To All Our Health,

~Dr?


(1) Int. J. of Oral Science. Published online Feb. 24, 2020

(2) Front. Med. http://journal.hep.com.cn/fmd/EN/ 10.1007/s11684-020-0754-0 (2020) and https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/ 2020.01.26.919985v1 (2020)

(3) old.post-gazette.com/pg/06123/686910-294.stm"
 

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Can you somehow incorporate pieces of AC filters, the high quality ones that are supposed to filter out bacteria and virus?
 

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Hi Quilter,
Thank you so much for posting those details.

I was aware that China had a significant smoking population - but I was not aware of the
male / female ratio - which likely explains the other details.

For me it adds context to the TV numbers - similar to the German information - that many of their
early cases are healthy skiers - who were exposed to Covid 19 while in Italy on ski vacations.

I am sure that DIY masks -WILL HELP PROTECT from SELF Contamination .

Your friend’s masks could help any hospital food worker - cleaner etc from infecting themselves
by touching a surface that has Covid 19 virus on it .
 
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T-Dot-Traveller

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New York Times article today
March 26 - home sewers / crafters making masks for America.
 

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My son and I sewed masks yesterday using regular cotton, two layers. It was pretty easy and I counted it as part of his homeschool lessons :)
They are probably about 50% as effective as a real surgical mask but it's something and it signals to others to keep their distance, cover their coughs etc.
 

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Yeah, I've been doing different patterns since mid-Friday. Many many organizations want them. I don't have elastic, so I'm doing the larger masks with tie straps, taking much longer, but, can be tied over an N95 to help protect it and fit most anyone.

I have a lot of heavy cotton print fabric from Mom's stash from the wayback machine. She had a great cedar closet, this stuff is like brand new. Hoping they can get them laundered, sanitized and reused for months. I have no idea what they do to them to sanitize them but these should hold up.

At least I feel like I'm helping, and Mom is happy that her donated stash is going to good use.
 

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Just a caution and you can decide for yourself - if you don’t know what the vacuum cleaner bags are made of, you might not want to breathe those fibers in. I actually bought the air filters to make masks but have decided it is different to have them in the AC system versus up against my face. I did buy the size I need for the house so will use them there. Vacuum bags at least have a paper cover but maybe tape cut edges to keep loose fibers contained?
 

clifffaith

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Yeah, I've been doing different patterns since mid-Friday. Many many organizations want them. I don't have elastic, so I'm doing the larger masks with tie straps, taking much longer, but, can be tied over an N95 to help protect it and fit most anyone.

I have a lot of heavy cotton print fabric from Mom's stash from the wayback machine. She had a great cedar closet, this stuff is like brand new. Hoping they can get them laundered, sanitized and reused for months. I have no idea what they do to them to sanitize them but these should hold up.

At least I feel like I'm helping, and Mom is happy that her donated stash is going to good use.
Many of my DraperyPro cohorts are making masks. Apparently 1/4" elastic is unavailable anywhere, and they are cutting wider elastic into strips.
1585340740644.png
 

Quilter

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I saw a woman at the grocery with a mask. Try to picture this: rectangle with connected loops. Not elastic. She twisted loops to tighten over ears.
 

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I'm sewing the simple ones for my son who's an administrator at a local nursing home, and, the bigger ones for his wife who's an RN at a local hospital. Their facilities are not yet authorized to use these but are collecting them for when - not if ;( - the choice comes down to these or nothing.

Fingers crossed that all this sewing being done by thousands of volunteers across the country is far more than what will be needed, but it's difficult to believe today that will be the case.
 

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We will probably all have a wardrobe of masks after this. Should be required on all flights.
I've been wondering if that's one of the ways this crisis will permanently alter us. It seems like we've been seeing photos for years from China of people wearing masks while going about their regular business, and it won't come as a surprise if the practice becomes much more prevalent all over the world.
 

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Many of my DraperyPro cohorts are making masks. Apparently 1/4" elastic is unavailable anywhere, and they are cutting wider elastic into strips.
View attachment 18310
Do you think the cut elastic will survive the cleaning process when these start making their way through the industrial machines? I ran out of 1/4" and 3/8", have started using 1/2". It'd be great to get twice as many masks out of my stash but not if they fray.
 

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I'm sewing the simple ones for my son who's an administrator at a local nursing home, and, the bigger ones for his wife who's an RN at a local hospital. Their facilities are not yet authorized to use these but are collecting them for when - not if ;( - the choice comes down to these or nothing.

Fingers crossed that all this sewing being done by thousands of volunteers across the country is far more than what will be needed, but it's difficult to believe today that will be the case.
Yes, that, and, I feel like I'm helping vs just staying out of the way.

Found out that JoAnn Fabrics was donating med grade material but not my local ones. The lady on the phone said they were donating materials to an apparel manufacturer here. Makes sense to me.

I am not concerned where they get used, I figure they will make their way to where they are needed, probably somewhere in my state.
 

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I'm sewing the simple ones for my son who's an administrator at a local nursing home, and, the bigger ones for his wife who's an RN at a local hospital. Their facilities are not yet authorized to use these but are collecting them for when - not if ;( - the choice comes down to these or nothing....

all this sewing being done by thousands of volunteers
every mask made SHOULD BE used - by someone
(to prevent self contamination / touch a surface contaminated with Covid 19
then your mouth or nose )

Hospital Cleaners
Hospital Orderlies
Hospital Food Workers
Anyone entering a hospital .

Gas station booth attendants / handling cash
Anyone working in a public space
Anyone out in public spaces that have hard surfaces
that are being touched ( railings - doors etc.)
 

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From a practical and logical standpoint, if someone is wishing to make cotton masks from "cloth",
wouldn't it be wise to buy a single sheet with the HIGHEST "thread count" you can find?
Seems that would be the most impenetrable, and being thin as well, you could even double it.
Plus it's washable.
Regular cotton from clothes, etc would seem to be a sieve!
 

geekette

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From a practical and logical standpoint, if someone is wishing to make cotton masks from "cloth",
wouldn't it be wise to buy a single sheet with the HIGHEST "thread count" you can find?
Seems that would be the most impenetrable, and being thin as well, you could even double it.
Plus it's washable.
Regular cotton from clothes, etc would seem to be a sieve!
Yes!

I very much agree about tshirt, don't waste time on that, too porous. Need tight weave.

Jo Ann Fabrics is usually where I get fabric if it's not in the stash from Mom. They may have a section set aside for mask material because they were doing it, too. Helpful hint: JoAnn is like Michael's and Bed, Bath Beyond: don't ever go there without the coupons! Some are 20% off total.

I would like to order some fun patterns, but, still exploring the time capsule here. For a while, masks are goofy floral prints that I was going to use as purse linings. It seems it was still 1970-1975 in Mom's cedar closet. Running across the leftover fabrics from some memorable clothing made for me that I had to wear as a child, making this all the more surreal.

Whatever I find that's heavy enough cotton, I use. Mom bought quality so I'm still finding. May get to closet dive this weekend.
 
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