The CDC has updated it’s recommendations regarding the use of cloth face coverings (often referred to as cloth masks) for the general public during the Covid-19/Corona Virus Pandemic.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS/PATTERNS
Please share these designs*. The more we can do to “keep our germs to ourselves” the stronger our communities will be.
MORE THAN YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT MASKS, MACGUYVERING MATERIALS, AND ALL THIS STUFF
So, I’m an artist who loves process and breaking down complex projects for the general public to join in on. I’m by no means a doctor, so please follow CDC guidelines and recognize that we’re at one of those points in history where we need to be ingenuitive and “not let perfect be the enemy of the good” .
BEFORE YOU START MAKING MASKS FOR DONATION/ETC you really need to make sure there is an entity that can utilize them/that a particular design will meet their needs. That being said, as we continue along in this pandemic time period, there will be a need for community-sourced solutions when gaps in support unfortunately arrive. There are lots of self-organized mutual aid groups (neighbors helping neighbors) that are forming across the country to get food, supplies and more. One of the best things you can do before you decide to undertake an initiative is to see if someone in your area has already started one! Read about what they are up to and see if there is a way that you can help. We’re all in this together ;-).
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN FILTRATION LEVELS AND BEST MATERIALS, I am too! There is lots of information out there that can be very overwhelming, and some that is unclear and dangerous. These are cloth face covers. They are not a “replacement for an N-95 mask.” It is critical that our doctors, nurses and other front-line staff have first access to high-level gear to reduce their risk of contracting Covid-19 from the patients they are caring for. Next in line should be the folks who are providing essential transportation and distribution services. For the rest of us, staying home is the best way to avoid getting infected, or (because you can transmit it without knowing even you are infected) accidentally passing it on.
That being said, the Blossom mask design is a close fitting adjustable design that does allow for additional filter material to be inserted in-between the layers of cotton. In our home, when we do have run critical errands like getting groceries, we’re using 2 layers of kitchen paper towel inside of the Blossom mask. It’s accessible, breathable and it’s inexpensive. There are folks who are doing research into what other materials out there that are easily accessible and have high filtration rates. Specific brands of blue shop towels, and Halyard Fabric used in wrapping surgical tools both look promising-but just as you’ve likely seen with elastic and toilet paper once their efficacy becomes known, they may no longer be accessible. Make sure that the materials you are using do not put the wearer at greater risk of injury, or provide a false sense of security.
Once folks learn about a thing- even with the best of intentions- they can scoop up materials and make it impossible for others to secure what they need. Please consider that your community is as strong as its “weakest” link, and making sure others have access keeps them stronger. You don’t need to be the hero that spends the next month making thousands of masks. Get enough supplies to make what you’re actually going to be able to make, and do it. We’re going to need so many of us doing lots of little things to get through. Its much more time-effective to have 50 people making 10 masks each than 1 person crafting 500. We need to use the skills and knowledge of lots of different people from all sorts of disciplines to solve challenges as they pop up.
THE BLOSSOM MASK DESIGN
The Blossom design is an amalgamation of several different designs, and was developed with the good will of a team of medical, design and instructional professionals. It allows for the insertion of filter material, replacement of the nose bridge, cinching side straps, contrast stitching for quick identification of the back of the mask and can utilize a variety of strap materials. Best for personal use, to free up commercial masks for medical use, only provides basic coverage. If making to donate, please check first with your intended recipient to make sure it meets their needs!
This mask does not feature n-95 protection. It is capable of holding a filter to increase the level of filtration, but filtration is only as strong as your biggest gap. If you are looking for the step-by-step version of the “Deaconess Mask” put out by the Turban Project, I did convert those instructions as well (it was my test run for infographics for this go round)
The creative commons license is at the bottom of the page. If you are a commercial entity and would like to use this design for production, please reach out. I’m not seeking to profit from the production of these masks, and will allow them to be produced by larger manufacturers with an appropriate donation to either https://foodlinkny.org/ or your area food cupboard.
I’m petrified I’m going to miss someone. Please presume lack of sleep and not bad intention. It’s likely this list will expand when I learn who others consulted:
Andrew Scurti, posted his initial design from which this was interpreted, and was instrumental in providing feedback, prototyping, and is a Patient Care Tech in Salt Lake City. He was also critical in soliciting feedback from other primary health care providers, including, (but not limited to) Virinia Hovland, Critical Care Nurse at VA Portland Health Care System.
Kathy Ceceri, was instrumental in streamlining and providing instructional feedback and copy editing. She is an award-winning author and educator who writes about hands-on learning science and technology activities for families and classrooms. www.kathyceceri.com
Marlyne Brooks, produced countless prototypes, provided critical knowledge in textiles, and designing sewing for home sewers. She has worked in the apparel industry for companies large and small, from the production floor to the design room. A graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto when it was still a Polytechnical Institute, she readily accepts any creative challenge I throw at her.
Kristen Gocker Hallagan, provided initial design consultation and feedback- she’s an educator and creative chameleon.
Michael Kelly, provided knowledgable feedback about production, and graphic design feedback. He is the Principal Designer and Production Manager at Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services. They are currently raising money to manufacture and provide cloth facemasks to the medical community nationwide and the refugee community in Rochester.
Oh, and me too. Kelly Cheatle, I’m the artistic director of Airigami, where I enjoyed traveling the globe with my husband & partner building giant-scale sculptures entirely out of balloons. (You can imagine our calendar is wide open at the moment lol.) So we’re doing what we do best, coming up with unique community building projects, and engaging in crisis creativity. I specialize in design, craft and process, so if you need a consult for creative solution, please hit me up- (that’s my work contact form, I really don’t want to deal with that functionality on this site).
GOT AN IMPROVEMENT/ANY TIPS ON PRODUCTION? Leave a comment below. I’ve got versioning on the PDF, so if we make any updates you’ll know when you see the sheet.