A few people have send enquires as to whether I am still making non medical grade face masks, (amongst other things), mostly I think due in part to the lack of posts for long periods, sorry about that.
I am still making them, but the posts about masks have waned as I grew a little tired of posting “another mask made”. I am well aware that not everyone wants to see masks and have a constant reminder that this has been our life for over a year now.
For those unaware, here is a little bit about the non medical grade masks that I make.
They are made with 4 layers;
2 x 100% cotton
2x non woven interfacing (also called polypropylene by some, I just call it interfacing)
Note: the interfacing is between the layers of cotton
They also have;
Polyester Elastic (same elastic used for disposable masks for hospitals, so softer than most)
Cotton loops for the elastic to thread through
Wire (with a plastic coating on it to reduce wear & tear on the mask) for over the nose
The design for the masks, is a combination of several ideas that I liked, when I was researching “best fit” overall. I realize that the style/ sizing might not work for everyone, but with various sizes available & the design features incorporated, I have had a large number of repeat customers, who are adamant that it’s the most comfortable mask they’re found. It’s a nice piece of feedback, because I played with so many design ideas, before settling on this one & I know that for us, it has been the best fit too.
Some of the design features that I think make it stand out for improved fit are;
Wire over the nose – ensures less gaps
Darts at the sides – snug fit at the sides
Loops for elastic – more flexibility in terms of fit & ease of adjustment/ adding more once elastic wears out.
Being immunocompromised, I went with 2 layers of non-woven interfacing from the start, as a filter of sorts, because it was the safest option I could offer. I started making masks a little later than most, because of all the research I did, but it was around the time when people were cutting up furnace filters and adding all sorts of weird things into their masks to work as a filter themselves.
The non woven interfacing or polypropylene works as a filter of sorts because unlike cotton which is woven, (so therefore has gaps), a nonwoven material makes it harder for some particles to get through. Is it medical grade filtration? No, but it will give you more protection than a simple two layer (non medical grade) cotton mask does.
If you are washing in a washing machine, I suggest cold to warm wash to ensure a longer life & line dry, as opposed to popping them in the dryer. A delicates bag when washing can help to prevent the elastic from prematurely wearing out, which is good use for any mask type you might have, especially if it’s sewn in, as some mask designs have, when you would likely just toss the mask.
I supply a decent length of elastic with each, usually enough to go over the ears, but I can also supply extra if you wish to secure it around your head instead. I also generally supply a little extra in the event that something happens & you need to swap out the elastic at the last minute. Some actually prefer ties, as you can get an even tighter fit (shoelaces are actually great ties). Personally, my family all prefer over the ears, as it’s easy to flick them off & into a bag for dirty masks, to be cleaned later.
Be sure to remember to cut up all elastic when it has reached end of life, as it can still pose a risk to wildlife.
Please note: ALL my non medical grade masks, are not a failsafe & users should still exercise caution when in close proximity & practice distancing, handwashing & other precautions as well.
I mostly do masks, as custom order requests, but from time to time you will see them pop up on my site or via social media