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Facial Masks

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I have found a pattern created by a surgeon to make fabric, washable, reusable masks.  I am willing (and would suggest others do so as well) to make masks.  Our first responders and medical people are putting their lives on the line for us and we need to help them if we can.  My problem is that I do not have access to the supplies.  The supplies need to be bought from a fabric store and I doubt if any are presently open.  It might take some government help to get the supplies because the stores are probably closed.  I have no contacts so am requesting that anyone who could help me get these supplies would do so.  If the stores are open and someone could get the supplies for me, I would be grateful as I am immune suppressed and cannot go out.  These masks are not the N95 masks but might help save lives  Please help me if you can. 

  • Tightly woven cotton* cut into 9-inch squares (2 squares per mask)

  • 12 inches of 1/4- or 1/2-inch fabric-wired ribbon** (1 per mask)

  • 7-inch strips of 1/4- or 3/8-inch elastic (2 per mask)


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I know HOW to make the masks based on a surgeon's experience and the pattern she made.  They are washable and reusable.  The question was does anyone knows how I can get the supplies to do so?  They would be donated to our hospital and doctor's offices to help keep our first responders safe.  I need: 


  • *Tightly woven cotton cut into 9 inch squares ( 2 squares per mask) (1/2 in square plaids would speed up the production time but any tightly woven cotton would work.)
  • 12 inches of 1/4 or 1/2 inch fabric wired ribbon (1 per mask)
  • Version 1: 7 inch strips of 1/4 or 3/8 inch elastic (2 per mask)
  • If some one has these items and would like to donate them, I will make the masks.  If someone knows a way for me to get these supplies, again, I will make and distribute them. The time will come when we too will be affected by this virus.  Personal protection equipment will be in short supply.  These masks are not N95 but they will help protect those who take care of us (including maintenance and hospital kitchen staff, etc.)  I am just trying to be proactive contribute to the safety of others.
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I'm in the US now and I purchased a couple of these masks, previously available on Amazon. I also sew.

The outer layer (what you see on the outside) is basically a cotton gingham or other kind of quilting cotton. Attached to the cotton "gingham"  is what, to my eyes, looks identical to iron-on interfacing.

The reverse side that touches the face is muslin lining.There is a third layer, a flap where my hand goes through, which is also muslin. The nose piece (I can feel it) is a flat wire. 

The inside is hollow and identical to how a foldover pillowcase is designed: it is made as an insert pocket, where an additional disposable mask filter can be inserted.

However, as the size of this virus is quite large, I have read that a doubled piece of paper towel, cut to filter size, will also work.

The mask should be cleaned daily in a gentle soap and water wash, then hung to dry in the sun.

These can very easily be improvised. If I were to make one with limited supplies I would use three layers of thin cotton or similar material (old man's dress shirt, etc), elastic for the ears or fabric strip ties, and even thin, flexible wire (such as plastic coated wire electric cable, or twisted bread ties in a real pinch) for the nose bridge. That's a seam dart seen in the center of the mask, and running perpendicular on the bottom is a seam pocket where the foldable 4" nose wire is. When folded to fit the nose bridge it makes a beak, of sorts.




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16 hours ago, bmh said:

 saw a facebook posting  fro France saying showing all the various masks that are available and it specifically said that fabric masks are useless for viruses

They aren't useless. If someone is sneezing or coughing, it will prevent the droplets from spraying out all over the place. They also prevent people from touching their hands to their nose and mouth, which we all do unconsciously many times a day.

And putting an insert of iron-on interfacing is a pretty tight seal. There are all kinds of ways to construct fabric masks- it would be interesting to know exactly how the ones used in France that they said were useless were made.

I think any little thing we can do to slow down the spread of this is worthwhile, even if it's not ideal.

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I am still looking for the supplies.  Does anyone have any 1/4 or 1/2 inch fabric wired ribbon or 1/4 or 3/8 inch elastic I could have to help our care providers?  I am not looking for patterns, I am looking for supplies.

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Just now, Jeanneboo said:

I am still looking for the supplies.  Does anyone have any 1/4 or 1/2 inch fabric wired ribbon or 1/4 or 3/8 inch elastic I could have to help our care providers?  I am not looking for patterns, I am looking for supplies.

I have more or less 5 meters of elastic that you're welcome to.

Tell me when you want to pick it up and I'll hang the bag on the gate. 

PM for directions. We're in Chapala Haciendas.


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