UPDATE WEDNESDAY, May 20th: It is Rosie here, thanking you so very much for your unbelievable support. Sewing many many masks was an interesting experience and I thank you all for spreading the word about them. I have stopped making the bamboo masks for now because I need to take a break. Wearing a mask when you're out in the community is very important. If you're looking at this, you have decided to do that and as a member of your community at large, I applaud and thank you for that. If you're looking for a cloth facemask, please see another local maker in the Junction Triangle here in Toronto at Goodfarken.com (link to: https://goodfarken.com/shop/ols/categories/tee-masks)
Bamboo Reusable Mask - Nose Bridge and Snug Around Periphery of Face - Wash Hot in Included Laundry Bag
April 2nd, 2020: Rosie here, I wear my bamboo mask now when I go out, especially to the grocery store. There are three reasons that I have decided to do that:
1) in consideration of the whole community; at least by keeping my own droplets contained I feel like I am doing something to help kick this.
2) to honour the front line health care professionals who have to wear masks now for their entire shift, just imagine!! Those masks are not lovely bamboo like this. Many of our health care professionals develop rashes from the disposable masks, have cut their hair and shaved their beards to wear them safely. It isn't only doctors and nurses, but also admin and clinical support providers, techs, RT's and cleaners (if I've forgotten anyone, please tell me).
3) because I'm not using up a disposable mask. Saving those for our courageous front line workers who urgently need them.
There are several reasons that these bamboo masks are really special - the main one is the fit.
Perhaps the snugness is overkill - I truly hope so. I hope that it will never ever come to the point when N95 masks are not available, but at a crisis point DLD's masks could not only be used as a cloth alternative to a simple disposable mask, but also as a snug-around-the-periphery-of-the-face (this is key) holder for a filter.
- 2 layers of tightly knit, yet soft against the skin 70% Viscose from Bamboo / 30% Organic Cotton (stretch but without spandex or elastic so can be washed hot many many times) sandwich an extra barrier of tightly woven yet still breathable, 100% cotton woven fabric
- could snugly hold a make-shift filter in place; see what could be used as a filter
- long soft ties that can be knotted to fit behind the ears, or tied securely in two places at the back of your head.
- metal nose bridge that molds to your nose and cheekbones
- wash hot and machine dry
For My Fellow Mask-Makers
*Update as of May 2nd: There are many many patterns available on the internet for cloth face masks. You will be able to find one that works for you. I have been constantly tweaking the pattern for these, and had intended to put instructions here. However, everytime I got the instructions done, a slightly better way to construct presented itself, and then the instructions were defunct. I feel that rather than continue with this, I should just tell you a couple of tips that will make your-life-stitching-masks-continuously (solidarity people) easier - of course, you may know them already, xxoo
FOR STRAPS - if you're out of elastic, or tired of continuously stitching the cotton strings, use t-shirt fabric (single knit jersey without spandex - old t-shirts work great), cut along the grain line and that gives you a soft, non-fraying already finished (or finished enough) strap that is mildly stretchy.
FOR THE WIRE - this took a long time to figure out back in March - a length of 24GA wire folded in half was what worked best for a wire nose bridge. I experimented with pipecleaners, aluminum pie plates (don't try that it is a gigantic waste of time and you'll wreck your scissors), opened up paper clips, garden staking wires and of course different gauges of wire.
IF YOU'RE OUT OF INTERFACING - hockey tape makes a great fusible interfacing and is especially helpful for inserting the wire.
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