Face masks are a contentious subject but we are at the stage where desperation and doing *something* is hopefully better than nothing. Bess trialed a variety of patterns and found this mask by @trend_patterns to be the favourite. she had planned on the pleated style (simpler) and they work brilliantly in non woven filtering fabric but we currently don’t have access to that. When you make them up in cotton they can be a little heavy, cumbersome, and don’t fit terribly well (not on our testers, anyway)
If there is one thing we can’t abide at Stone Fabrics it’s a bad fit!
So this ‘tailored fit’ mask from trend patterns is the chosen one. We adjusted the lining pieces to simplify it (you need an opening for a filter, we don’t think you need two openings), and have gone with ties rather than elastic as it is more comfortable and more durable on a hot wash. Otherwise, this pattern was more or less as it should be. Stone Fabrics recommend it.
For the tester masks we used quilting / poplin weight cottons, for the lining a lightweight but dense pure cotton jersey, there’s a small bit of bakers wire in the nose (overlocked in when sewing the seam) and a scrap of bias at the chin. Until we can find some melt blown non-woven filtering fabric (like they use in an N95 mask) or even hepa filters I am using kitchen towel as the disposable filters. Again, hopefully it is better than nothing.
Once we were happy with the construction we made a batch for the local care home (they were desperate).
Covid-19 is a new virus and so testing and research in these early days are seriously insubstantial. We do not know how long it lasts on surfaces, or if it can survive extremes of temperatures. There is research changing the rules all the time, a good place to start is here: https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/diy-homemade-mask-protect-virus-coronavirus/?rel=1
What little advice we have found that seems to be sensible:
This is not a surgical mask but there is some evidence that it can help. It is more important to wash your hands, Only go out when you absolutely have to and if you do go out practise social distancing whilst wearing your mask.
You need to take care when removing the mask so as not to touch or shake it, remove and dispose of the filter safely, and put it in the wash immediately.