8-April-2020.  Though I ordered some washable fabric face masks from Etsy sewers – delivery is delayed so I am going to try and sew some masks. My first attempts will be to use DIY mask patterns from Kaiser Permanente & John Hopkins Medical.


(Article) – Care of Fabric Maskshttps://clarksvillenow.com/local/free-cloth-masks-available-at-health-department/

When using a cloth face covering, make sure:

  • The mouth and nose are fully covered
  • The covering fits snugly against the sides of the face so there are no gaps
  • You do not have any difficulty breathing while wearing the cloth face covering
  • The cloth face covering can be tied or otherwise secured to prevent slipping
  • Avoid touching your face as much as possible
  • Keep the covering clean
  • Clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately, before putting on, after touching or adjusting, and after removing the cloth face covering
  • Don’t share it with anyone else unless it’s washed and dried first
  • You should be the only person handling your covering. Laundry instructions will depend on the cloth used to make the face covering
  • In general, cloth face coverings should be washed regularly (e.g., daily and whenever soiled) using water and a mild detergent, dried completely in a hot dryer, and stored in a clean container or bag

(Article) – The Best Material for Homemade Masks

  •  “One layer of a tightly woven cotton sheet combined with two layers of polyester-spandex chiffon—a sheer fabric often used in evening gowns—filtered out the most (80-99%, depending on ), with performance close to that of an N95 mask material. Substituting the chiffon with or flannel, or simply using a cotton quilt with cotton-polyester batting, produced similar results. The researchers point out that tightly woven fabrics, such as cotton, can act as a mechanical barrier to particles, whereas fabrics that hold a static charge, like certain types of chiffon and natural silk, serve as an electrostatic barrier. However, a 1% gap reduced the filtering efficiency of all masks by half or more, emphasizing the importance of a properly fitted mask.

(Article) –What’s the Best Material for a Mask?

  • Hold it up to a bright light … if light passes really easily through the fibers and you can almost see the fibers, it’s not a good fabric.  If it’s a denser weave of thicker material and light doesn’t pass through it as much, that’s the material you want to use.
  • Dr. Scott Segal, chairman of anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Healthy who recently studied homemade masks
  • Lindsey Marr, a Virginia Tech aerosol scientist and expert in the transmission of viruses
  • Bonnie Browing, executive show director for the American Quilter’s Society
  • Dr Yang Wang, assistant professor of environmental engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology; won an international award for aerosol research
  • The best performing designs were a mask constructed of –
    • 2 layers of high quality, heavyweight quilter’s cotton OR
    • 2 layer mask made with thick batik fabric OR
    • A double layer mask with an inner layer of flannel & outer layer of cotton
  • If you want 4 layers of protection >> wear 2 masks at a time.

(Article) – What Are The Best Materials for Making DIY Masks?

  • Household Materials’ Effectiveness Against 1-Micron Particles
    • Surgical Mask (97%) / Vacuum Cleaner Bag (95%) / Dish towel (83%) / Cotton blend (73%) / 100% cotton t-shirt (69%) / Antimicrobial pillowcase (65%) / Scarf (62%) / Pillowcase (62%) / Linen (60%) / Silk (58%)
  • Are Two-Layered DIY Masks More Effective?
    • Surgical Mask (97%) / Dish towel (1 layer) 83% – (2 layers) – (97%) / Cotton t-shirt (1 layer) – 69%; (2 layers) – (71%) / Pillow case (1 layer) – 61%; (2 layers) – 62%
  • Household Materials’ Effectiveness Against 0.02-Micron Particles
    • Surgical Mask (89%) / Vacuum Cleaner Bag (86%) / Dish towel (73%) / Cotton blend (70%) / 100% cotton t-shirt (68%) / Antimicrobial pillowcase (68%) / Linen (62%) / Pillowcase (57%) / Silk (54%) / Scarf (49%)

Breathability of Homemade Mask Materials vs. Surgical Mask

  • Dish towel, 2 layers = -128% / Vacuum Cleaner bag = -104% / Dish towel = -38% / Cotton blend t-shirt = – 28% / Antimicrobial pillowcase = -15% / Pillowcase, 2 layers = -4% / Surgical mask = 0% / Cotton t-shirt, 2 layers = 3% / Cotton t-shirt = 8% / Silk = 11% / Scarf = 13% / Linen = 25% / Pillowcase = 28%

(Article) – Coronavirus FAQs: Is A Homemade Mask Effective? And What’s The Best Way To Wear One?

  • Dr. Daniel Griffin at Columbia University, an expert of infectious diseases
  • Dr. Joseph Allen, a professor of exposure and assessment science at Harvard University, T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Dr. Michael Klompas, an infectious disease physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • When removing your mask do not touch the front of the mask
  • Remember eye protection
  • Think of a mask as underwear, it needs to be washed after every use
  • The best material is to use tight weave cotton.  Don’t use a synthetic or polyester because they’ve looked at the virus’s ability to survive on surfaces, and spandex is the worst
  • Try to make it fit closely to your face and don’t touch the front of it once you’ve started wearing it
  • If you use cloth masks, make a number of them so you can wear a fresh one each time you go out
  • The masks are not a replacement for all the other steps we need to take right now to protect ourselves from the coronavirus – especially social distancing and good hand hygiene.

(Article) – Making your own face mask?  Some fabrics work better than others, study finds

  • Dr. Scott Segal, chair of anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Regular surgical masks (filter 62 to 65% of particles); N95 masks (filter 95% of those particles); 1 piece of cloth (filtered 1% of particles)
  • Use a relatively high quality cloth
  • 2 layers of heavyweight “quilters cotton” w/thread count of at least 180 and had thicker and tighter weave
  • Lesser quality fabrics also worked well as long as they had an internal layer of flannel
  • You do want to use a woven fabric like batik, but you don’t want to use a knit fabric because the holes between the knit stitches are bigger
  • If the fabric allows for a substantial amount of light to shine through, it’s probably going to allow tiny viral particles through as well.
  • Opt for masks that tie around the ear, rather than ones that have a standard elastic band.  The ties can be adjusted to fit each face better than the elastic band.
  • Make sure to use dry masks.  When masks get wet, even from the moisture emitted when a person exhales, the fabric could be more likely to transmit virus.
  • (CARE) – Wash fabric masks regularly, with regular detergent and in regular washing cycles.

(Article) – Using blue shop towels in homemade face masks can filter particles 2x to 3x better than cotton, 3 clothing designers discover after testing dozens of fabrics

  • Lindsay Medoff, CEO of Suay Sew Shop – a boutique LA clothing manufacturer
  • Discovered by adding 2 blue shop towels AND using a design that produces a tighter fitting mask, the could make a mask that could block up to 95% of the particles while the cotton masks blocked 20% to 60% of the particles
  • HEPA vacuum cleaner bags had great filtration but were too suffocating to wear
  • Polyester hydro knit towels (ToolBox’s shop towel & ZEP’s industrial blue towel) filtered up to 93% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in an ordinary cotton mask.  *Scott’s Pro Shop Towels didn’t work as well.