Same here. Almost all the stores are closed around here so I have been trying to figure something I could fabricate. I think your idea looks quite striking and original. Probably would help with the “social distancing” as well.
@cf1 this is good for someone that can’t sew. I just don’t recommend trying to take off and put back on without washing because it’ll fall apart. I used this to figure out how to sew a much sturdier one, that’s easier than trying pleats. I’ll upload a tutorial later:
I saw a better one that used both layers of the shirt and had the ties attached. They also put a piece a paper towel inside for a filter. I would upload it but I have problems, it never works when I try to upload videos or images.
She sells them as one, two or three in a bundle. She mails them quickly. (I bought one from her as that turns out to be cheaper than buying everything I’d need to buy to sew them by hand). Also you can buy it with or without her ties. Narrow shoe laces or parachute cord also works. Many stores (all around here) are out of the round elastic.
Heavy duty quilt cotton also has decent filtration efficiency. If you get one of those with a filter pocket you can buy either a Toolbox blue shop rag roll (blue) or a Zep industrial shop rags (blue) and cut them to fit the pockets. The Toolbox one has a binder of latex so if you are allergic to that don’t use. Their filtration efficiency is about 75% (all other shop rags tested had lower filtration efficiency).
Some folks are making masks out of those shop rags. They are using two layers of the stuff.
If you buy a mask with the melted polypropylene (this is also what many AC/furnace filters are made of and some people are using that) don’t use soap when you wash them. Just running water and let dry 20 hours. Soap attacks the non-woven fabric and reduces the filtration efficiency by about 20%.
Many find that wearing a mask for hours irritates their ears if they have the kind where the strip hooks around their ear rather than tie in the back of your head. Some people sell “hooks” to attach to the ear straps so you can then fasten the thing behind your head rather than on your ears. Of course using fabric to tie to the ear loops and then behind your head would work too. I’d suspect if you used something narrow then that would hurt eventually too because it was pressure in the same place that wasn’t spread out over a larger area on your head.
@PhysAssist Thanks for the url. Looks like they have about 15-20% better filtration efficiency than the two brands of shop towels that test well. But they are way more expensive. On the other hand if someone was making a bunch of masks out of them they’d probably be a better purchase as they have better filtration efficiency and probably last longer than shop towels.
Of course unless they are “fitted” as N95’s need to be to work at 95% filtration efficiency likely the practical filtration efficiency of these things are about the same as surgical masks due to all the air leakage.
Okay. Here’s my tutorial for someone that can sew straight lines (lol, ignore my janky lines)on a machine or by hand.
The cutting mat’s squares are one inch. Cut a rectangle of fabric with the right sides together. Sew a line along the two outside edges. (About 11.5 wide and 10" tall) I left the t-shirt hem on the bottom of this, but it’s not necessary.
Turn it inside out and sew another line in a little bit for the ties to go through.
I cut some long strips to make ties. You can use ribbon or shoelaces. I’d leave these a little longer if you have a big head.
If using tshirt fabric, it stretches a lot. Pull it to stretch.
Tie your strings together (or use one long one if you have something long enough.) Feed the ends through. I used a pen with a pocket clip. Wrapped the end around the pocket clip a couple of times and shoved the pen through the channel.
Put the loop with the knot over your head and around the back of your neck. Pull the top strings and tie on top of your ears and behind your head. I personally just wrap the strings around my bun.
This was way easier than attempting pleats.
I did a second one to sew the top closed which I recommend if you have the time. I also added in a nose piece made out of a wide twist tie. The corners look a little weird but IDGAF.
After you sew the two lines on each side for the tie channels, turn it inside out to sew up the top. Just don’t sew across the channels. The little rectangle is where I put the nose piece. This size was a little big for me so ignore the size markings.
Both of these are left open at the bottom if you want to add a filter or an exam mask fitted inside.
@RiotDemon Terrific hints, like using a pen with a pocket clip to thread the ties through! And making ties out of stretchy T-shirt strips. I keep seeing posts from people fretting about not being able to find elastic. Someone gave me a mask and I think she used bra strap elastic; good idea but not that stretchy.
@Kyeh@RiotDemon I have some older (3-year-old) masks that were made with elastic bands, but I have replaced them with paracord. I always have a couple of spools of paracord around because it is so useful, can be cut to whatever length is needed, and launders well as long as the cut ends are tied or sewn shut.
@RiotDemon He has a full thick beard. If warm weather ever comes he usually cuts most of it off to be cooler. It snowed most of the day here. Not much accumulation but I am ready to be warm.
Most of the fitted masks would look silly and not do anything. He is not working now so he only needs one to go to appointments. I was thinking because it had a bit more flexibility it would form itself around the beard.
@Kyeh@RiotDemon But if you’re trying to hold the sickness in, buying something explicitly designed to allow air and moisture to pass freely seems especially counterproductive. People go running in these things, and not just members of sandhurst teams.
@Limewater Oh - that makes sense. However, I’ve heard of people wearing used N95 type masks that they have in their shops for woodworking getting grief for wearing stuff that “ought to be saved for health care workers” - these could be useful to cover them up! (It’s weird how people feel entitled to make assumptions and criticize strangers like that. )
@Kyeh@Limewater I bought a bunch of N95 masks in 1980 when Mt St. Helens erupted. Have used most of them over the years in the shop and have a handful left, but am reluctant to wear them because of the controversy. Someone mentioned wearing them under a plain cloth mask which is a pretty good idea!
@f00l I don’t necessarily believe that. Some masks really are worse than nothing. Just as a quick obvious example, I’ll cite a plastic shopping bag. Definitely worse than nothing.
But practically, though, are there any people out there who own neck gaiters but don’t also own better mask material? Is there someone out there who owns no clothing apart from a neck gaiter and a pair of shorts?
@f00l@Limewater I’d believe shirt sales to make masks, not so sure about for zoom. These folks on zoom I presume had to go to the office dressed appropriately before they had to use zoom.
I have had to be part of zoom meetings since 2014 or 15 or something. I always make sure I have my laptop on a box so that I don’t have to hold it, make sure the view is only mid chest up and so that the background is plain, the lighting of my face looks OK, the view for others is not looking up my nose or something (Initially I would set things up first in photobooth - now I know the drill so don’t bother) and try to block cat access. And like many others I am sure, I have a decent shirt on but the rest of me… well let’s just say I’ll temporarily kill the video if I have to get up to get something.
It is interesting to see the styles coming out now. I have seen fancy monogrammed and drawn on like a preschooler. One person is using a regular t-shirt upside down and tied behind the head, you can see the shirt design in front. Two are using sheet protectors for face shields without masks. Most are similar to above or bandanas but there always need to be outliers. I think about half of my customers are wearing something. Starting Sunday, it is supposed to be mandatory to cover your face when out in public.
I did go to the grocery store this morning. One employee had a mask at the pharmacy and few customers wore one. Stupid one way aisles drove me crazy. I was grabbing a few things and wanted out. Can’t shop that way now. Follow the person down the aisle looking at everything from six feet back. Front of the store you could not get through because people are waiting 6 feet apart in line to check out. I skipped several things to not take forever up and down more aisles.
@speediedelivery we’ve had several people with underwear on their faces come to my work place.
I personally saw a man that had one of the triangles from a bikini top tied around his face, but the triangle point was just hanging freely in front of his mouth. It wasn’t doing anything but making him look stupid. There was some other customer that loudly exclaimed to me, “That’s a bikini bottom, he’s wearing a bikini bottom!” I just looked away, embarrassed for them both.
@Bretterson They’re very well made, a thin metal strip at the top to bend it to your nose, and a heavy, dense fabric. A lot of people have got the Silence of the Lambs reference, but usually after a double take.
It talks about how the dynamics of filters change once you’re dealing with particles smaller than 0.3 microns. And some of the more restrictive materials are worse filters than some of the easier flowing materials.
It’ll get trickier than that in practical terms, since people still haven’t decided how much the virus spreads in aerosols, or how much viral load is needed to get a person sick (in general), and there’s fit, and any number of other complicating factors, I’d imagine (I have no clue what I’m talking about–gotta throw in that disclaimer, if it wasn’t obvious).
I found it difficult to believe masks weren’t pointless, before reading that page.
@InnocuousFarmer I forgot to stick this in the above comment: you’re also (or even primarily?) worried about filtering larger particles with the virus on them, and that article only talks about virus-sized particles, unless I overlooked a chart, which may be easier to capture than larger ones.
@Kidsandliz So a man walks into a store wearing a banana for breathing protection, sunglasses for eye protection, a cowboy hat because Texas, goes through the checkout line with a cart full of women’s pantyhose, toilet paper and hand sanitizer and everybody acts like it’s normal. 4 months ago people would think it was a scene from Stranger Things, but today it’s just another normal day at Wal-Mart.
@Kidsandliz Buttery soft toilet paper or industrial strength sandpaper substitute? There’s only so much room in the cart, decisions decisions. I guess he could also get a pair of jeans to cut up for a bandana as opposed to the banana, because it certainly isn’t helping with the asthma.
Some flaws in this guy’s testing though as he didn’t say what brand of paper towels, t-shirts vary in density and thickness. Toolbox and Zep shop rags tested 20% better in a different set of tests than Scot but he didn’t test them and Scot results can’t be 20% better here… but there are some general consistencies across tests
@sammydog01 I’ve been very pleased with Old Navy merchandise so far. Surprised, but pleased. Thanks for the reminder. I just spent $60. on a 3 pack of masks, and this and that. Then they sent me a $20. coupon.
I can recommend these from Los Angeles Apparel. L.A. Apparel is the reborn American Apparel by the CEO that was ousted when AA got acquired and he had a falling out with the new owners (they started outsourcing and cutting labor costs).
The masks fit great and seal well, are comfy and soft. High quality materials and craftsmanship from workers paid a living wage.
Longtime mehtizens will remember American Apparel shirts. This is where they went if you loved the quality.
I got some Pocket Tees too. They’re so comfy and have a relaxed fit, like a good lounge tee should. Almost as good as my Territory Ahead Tees, but TA is on hiatus from the pandemic. Hoping for better colors next season, and I’ll get some more.
@ELUNO PS thinking about it most people don’t look at that other thread anway so posting it here is better. Knowing my friend she made that mask to fit that cat and not a human. Oh - and saw what you did there on that other thread… (grin).