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COVID-19, Fabric Masks, and You...Our New Normal.

We are definitely in some unsure times in this new normal. It feels as if new information about this virus is discovered daily.  Here's what we know:

  • No one is exempt from catching this illness. Newborns to seniors are all susceptible.
  • This virus can live on some surfaces for several days. This is why frequent sanitization of frequently used surfaces is suggested.
  • Even though there are key symptoms to look for, we now know that there are asymptomatic carriers. These are seemingly “well” people who can pass on this illness to others without ever knowing.

 

This is why medical professionals are beginning to suggest the general public to wear NON-MEDICAL grade masks while out in public.

What are the benefits?

  • If we all act as if we, and all we encounter, have the virus by wearing masks in public it'll help slow the spread by asymptomatic individuals.
  • Also masks keep you from unnecessarily touching your nose & mouth. Especially after touching surfaces that may carry active bacteria on them. Both are known entry points for the virus. 

 

Before getting into what I’ve learned or am offering let’s do a little housekeeping. It is important to stress:

  • MASKS ARE NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING. They are not an invitation to go on family outings. No one wants to give a sense of false safety by using fabric masks.
  • Fabric masks are NOT MEDICAL GRADE and DO NOT completely protect you from bacteria or viruses even with perfect usage. They are a tool to use as an added layer of protection to slow the spread while still practicing social distancing.
  • SOAP, WATER, AND SOCIAL DISTANCING (yes, staying at home!) are still the BEST ways of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Fabric masks are an added layer of protection in situations when you NEED to be out and about.

 

I've been doing a little research so here's what you should know about masks:

  • A proper mask should have at least 2 layers of a tightly woven fabric. Three with or without a filter layer are better. 
  • Cotton is recommended for its breathability. The Cotton used should be tightly woven. How can you tell? Hold it up to the light. A minimal amount of light should shine through.
  • Fabric masks should be laundered frequently. Pressing on a cotton setting with steam will help sanitized laundered masks.
  • Cotton fabric is usually recommended to be washed in warm or cold water as it shrinks a lot! So if either making your own or just purchasing, make sure fabrics are preshrunk or go up a size to be able to launder in warmer water.
  • Be sure to wash your hands before and after handling your masks. Limit touching the outer fabric throughout the duration of use. Remember it's "trapping" any bacteria you may encounter. So it's germy.
  • Better designed masks cover the bridge of your nose, extend across your cheeks and under your chin.
  • Old heavyweight tees make for effective, quick and easily accessible DIY mask material.

 

What materials did I choose to use for my masks?

  • I use a combination of 100% Cotton fabrics (as long as they're available).
  • Outer layers use either Batiks or a fashion fabric. Batiks are a quilting fabric known for having a higher thread count.
  • Inner layer uses Kona Cottons, another higher thread count quilting fabric.
  • My third/filter pocket layer (additional hepa filters are optional) are made of a soft Jersey Cotton.
  • ⅛” to ¼” elastics (as long as they’re available). I chose to go with elastic instead of ties in hopes to provide a more snug fit. These thinner elastics are fairly comfortable and can be worn over the head or with your own alterations behind the ear.
  • Wire over the bridge of the nose to provide a better seal over the top of the mask.
  • All fabrics have been preshrunk for your piece of mind and ensure a consistent fit.

The materials used were selected to promote comfortable extended usage while providing optimal effectiveness. Masks are only helpful if you wear them. We’ll only be selling adult sized masks. Children are a little more difficult to provide a “one size” fit. Additionally, we do not want to encourage children venturing out in social situations during these times with so many unknowns.  

If you’re interested in purchasing click here. Due to current supply demands we are not able to take custom requests. Check back as inventory updates daily!

I'm attaching a few links to better understand the use of fabric masks and a few DIY’s of some of my favorite videos on YouTube.

Simple Respiratory Masks:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/12/6/05-1468_article

Cambridge University effectiveness study: https://smartairfilters.com/…/best-materials-make-diy-face…/

CDC consideration on public masks use: https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/6a3e495c-7280-11ea-87da-77…

 DIY tutorials with free patterns:

Jennifer Maker

https://youtu.be/rD6bnzKTkcc

 Olson Mask

https://youtu.be/ZnVk12sFRkY

Mimi G Style

 https://youtu.be/6hpzLQTy-SA

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