How to make a mask with fabric to wear or donate

April 20, 2020 by  
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Crafters began making fabric masks when the public learned that COVID-19 was causing a major shortage of personal protective equipment. But since the CDC changed its recommendation on April 3 to urge that everyone wears a mask when leaving the house, sewing machines around the world have been working harder than ever. Here’s what you need to know if you plan to make fabric masks to wear or to donate. “The efforts of home sewers are a beautiful expression of the desire to help our community and contribute their special skills,” said Erum Ilyas , board-certified dermatologist and founder of Montgomery Dermatology, LLC in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. However, textiles are not tightly woven enough to fully protect against the virus. “They are primarily designed to block bacterial spread given the risks these present in wounds during surgical procedures. Viral particles are much smaller than bacteria and simply escape through these textiles quite easily.” So while masks are a useful additional precaution against coronavirus , crafters should know upfront that cloth masks are insufficient for first responders, who need N-95 masks. Still, many medical professionals are wearing cloth masks over the N-95 masks. Everybody else should wear cloth masks in combination with social distancing and frequent hand-washing. Masks for donation Before you rev up your sewing machine and start stitching masks, figure out where you’re going to donate your finished products. Organizations of all sizes have popped up around the country to give home sewers guidance on materials, designs and delivery. Related: How to volunteer during COVID-19 “I got involved with Mask Match after my classmate heard about it on a podcast,” said Briana Corkill, a medical student in Phoenix. “It seemed like a great way to be helpful from home, especially since all of my clinical volunteer work has been put on hold.” Mask Match is a volunteer-run organization that accepts donations of high-filtration masks (N95, P95, R95 and KN95), surgical masks and fabric masks and delivers them wherever they are needed in the U.S. and Canada. If you want to donate homemade fabric masks, you must follow Mask Match’s guidance on materials and design. Other efforts are more localized. Vanderbilt University Medical Center is accepting hand-sewn masks, but only if people can deliver them in person in Nashville. However, its guidelines for making masks for children and adults are useful to people everywhere. Heide Davis, an Oregon-based artist, joined a Facebook group called Crafters Against Covid-19 PDX, which collects masks from home sewers. The group donates the masks to the Multnomah County Health Department, which distributes the non-medical grade masks to nursing homes, care homes and hospitals (for patient use). Davis, who collects secondhand and vintage fabric, pondered her choices. “I was a little unsure about what fabric I had that would be suitable,” she said. Fortunately, she heard that local couture designer Sloane White had started a mask production line. “She’d already cut out the masks and needed help sewing them together,” Davis said. “She gave me a bag of fabric that was already precut, washed, everything. And some elastic. And it was very lovely and generous and saved me from having to find the fabric.” Davis donated nearly 50 masks to the Multnomah County Health Department, plus another 15 for friends and family. Working with precut, partly sewn fabric, it still took about 8 hours for Davis to sew her donated masks. “You should know how to use your machine,” she said. “But it doesn’t take any more than basic sewing skills.” Making a simple mask Choosing the right fabric is an important decision. Ilyas referred to a 2013 Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness study that evaluated different household materials to determine how much each could filter particles and block the spread of influenza. “This study showed that cotton /polyester blends tend to be the most effective out of household materials while still maintaining breathability,” Ilyas explained. “This type of textile can be found in most T-shirts or pillowcases around the house. Despite rating the best in terms of blocking viruses and still maintaining comfort, these materials still only block about 70% of viruses. This makes them ideally suited for community and low-risk settings while still maintaining social distancing. It’s an added level of security to help minimize the risk of viral spread.” What if you lack a sewing machine but you want a mask for your own use? “Simple is best here,” Ilyas said. “This does not have to be complicated and should not be a reason to go to the store while we are urging everyone to stay home. I tend to recommend taking an old T-shirt or pillowcase and cutting a strip of fabric about 3-4 inches wide. Take two rubber bands and pull one along each side. Fold the fabric in and pull the rubber bands over your ears to hold in place.” Rubber bands are probably not the most comfortable thing to hold your mask in place, but they will do in a pinch for short jaunts to the store. You can also use yarn for a more comfortable fit if you have it on hand. The CDC posted several options on its site, including one for people who sew, a no-sew mask made from a T-shirt and a simple bandana mask. If possible, Davis recommends machine-sewing over hand-sewing . “ Machine stitches probably would hold up in the wash a little bit better than hand-done stitches. Because you want to be able to wash this thing a lot when you’re using it.” Wearing and caring for your mask Wearing a mask takes some getting used to and may feel uncomfortable or irritating. “Remember that when you use a mask, every time you manipulate it, touch it, move it around, your hands come close to your face and mouth,” Ilyas said. “Sometimes when people wear a mask, they find themselves touching their face far more frequently than normal. If you wear glasses, there is a lot of getting used to when it comes to wearing a mask as your glasses are sure to get foggy. Practice wearing your mask around the house first to get a sense of how you feel in it.” Ilyas suggested a gentle skin cleanser and nightly moisturizer to offset the effects of wearing a face mask for long periods of time. Related: How to properly dispose contaminated gloves, masks, wipes and more Whenever you go outside your house, your mask is accumulating additional germs. Frequent washing is important. “If you are using a fabric with a cotton/polyester blend, it should not be a problem to machine wash and tumble dry,” Ilyas said. “The key is to use the hot water setting on your washing machine, as viruses do require high temperatures to be killed in the water environment.” Ilyas mentioned the creepy fact that some viruses can live on the walls of your washing machine. To be extra careful, she recommends running an extra rinse cycle with just bleach to clean the washing machine walls after washing any clothes that are high risk for viral particles. Despite expert opinions that masks provide only a little extra protection from the virus, they still serve as an excellent visual reminder to stay a safe distance from others, leave the house only as necessary and stop touching your face. Images via Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat, Pixabay and Unsplash

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How to make a mask with fabric to wear or donate

Futuristic air-purifying masks combat air pollution with innovative fan system

February 26, 2020 by  
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In a world where air pollution causes an estimated 7 million deaths annually , the fashion and health worlds are colliding to bring us products that not only make us look good, but also keep us safe. A? Air has recently unveiled its Atm?s face mask — a high-tech, futuristic mask that wraps comfortably around the face while purifying the air you breathe. Recently unveiled at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, the Atm?s face mask has been proven to provide up to 50 times better air quality than the top anti-pollution masks on the market. In fact, although most air pollution masks can help reduce the amount of particulate matter that enters your airways, they typically don’t seal properly around the mouth and nose areas, which greatly reduces their effectiveness. Related: This 3D-printed device could help its users breathe underwater The Atm?s mask was designed with a special proprietary design technology called PositivAir that eliminated the need for an uncomfortable seal. Instead, multiple tiny fans within the device, which wraps comfortably around the lower half of the face, guide pure, filtered air directly into the nose and mouth. This system provides as much as 240 liters of clean air per minute. The state-of-the-art system channels the air you exhale directly out of the mask, which avoids fogging up the front window. Additionally, Atm?s has embedded Bluetooth technology that constantly tracks your respiratory activity in order to adapt the mask’s performance to ensure optimal air filtration under any circumstances. According to the company, although Atm?s, which retails for $350, has already been used as a futuristic accessory on more than a few fashion runways, the face mask is an innovative device specifically designed for medical professionals, first responders and firefighters. With the current outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, people around the world are investing in masks to reduce their exposure not only to air pollutants but also airborne pathogens that threaten health . The demand for masks will likely become greater overtime, making this design more important than ever. + A? Air Images via A? Air

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Futuristic air-purifying masks combat air pollution with innovative fan system

Washington moves to ban "detrimental" bottled water operations

February 26, 2020 by  
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Washington state, known for mountains, glaciers and rainforests, has an abundance of fresh water. To protect those natural resources , the state senate has passed a bill that will ban any new water bottling permits. Bill SB 6278, “An act relating to water withdrawals for commercial bottled water production; and amending RCW 90.03.290” was approved by the senate on February 17 and is currently progressing through the house. The bill will take effect retroactively to any applications as of January 1, 2019, effectively banning any new bottling operations in the state. Related: Arsenic found in bottled water sold at major retailers For definition, bottled water is clearly defined as any water labeled or marketed for sale as water in any type of container. Spring water or enhanced water is also included in the ban; however, it does not include products made from water that are not marketed as water. The state also included a clause stating that the limitation does not apply to municipal water suppliers or in the case of a state of emergency, drought or public health emergency — an argument from representatives of the bottled water industry. According to the bill, “the commercial production of bottled water is deemed to be detrimental to the public welfare and the public interest.” With water campaigners promoting the notion that private companies should not profit from public resources, the Washington senate was moved into action. Harvesting the water allows the industry to deplete a natural resource, put it in a plastic bottle and ship it out of state, all while collecting water for almost nothing and seeing exorbitant profits. With water being the No. 1 bottled drink in the United States, the production is bound to have consequences at the source, and there have been several instances of groundwater pollution as well as arsenic being diverted to water treatment plants without notifications regarding the toxins. Washington will be the first state in the nation to enact such a ban, but other states have similar legislation in the works, including Maine and Michigan introducing state bills and both Oregon and Montana recently passing ballot measures. + Washington State Legislature Via The Guardian Images via Pixabay

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Washington moves to ban "detrimental" bottled water operations

Green Halloween: what can I reuse or recycle to make a Halloween mask?

October 26, 2010 by  
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Continuing in our Green Halloween series… So yesterday, we looked at reuse or recycling ideas for Halloween masks – and I suppressed my desire to rant about shop-bought costumes. In my ever-so humble opinion, homemade costumes are way more fun – and they often reuse and recycle stuff, rather than using resources to make a one-off outfit. In the past – way back in the past – we spoke about making Halloween costumes in general but I wanted to think about masks in particular this time – partly, because I mentioned yesterday, I sometimes need non-Halloween masks for theatre things and so the more suggestions the merrier.

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Green Halloween: what can I reuse or recycle to make a Halloween mask?

Green Halloween: How can I reuse or recycle Halloween masks?

October 25, 2010 by  
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With Halloween at the weekend, the shops are full masks and costumes at the moment. To keep this blog reasonably rant free, I shalln’t go into my feelings for a) the sudden importing of Halloween as a large scale holiday and b) the rise of shop-bought fancy dress outfits and costumes (isn’t half the fun making it yourself and it being a laugh rather than perfect replica?). Whether I like it or not, Halloween is big business nowadays and that means that come next Monday morning, there will be a lot of masks facing brief visit to the dustbin on their way to landfill.

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Green Halloween: How can I reuse or recycle Halloween masks?

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