If you are lucky enough to know a quilter, ask them to make you a mask. Tests performed at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., showed good results for KN95 Mask For COVID-19 using quilting fabric. Dr. Segal, of Wake Forest Baptist Health, who led the research, noted that quilters tend to use high-quality, high-thread count cotton. The most effective homemade masks within his study were as effective as surgical masks or slightly better, testing in the range of 70 to 79 percent filtration. Homemade masks that used flimsier fabric tested as low as 1 percent filtration, Dr. Segal said.
The very best-performing designs were a mask constructed of two layers of high-quality, heavyweight “quilter’s cotton,” a two-layer mask made with thick batik fabric, as well as a double-layer mask having an inner layer of flannel and outer layer of cotton.
Bonnie Browning, executive show director for your American Quilter’s Society, stated that quilters prefer tightly woven cottons and batik fabrics that operate over time. Ms. Browning said most sewing machines can handle only two layers of fabric when making a pleated mask, but somebody who wanted four layers of protection could wear two masks at any given time.
Ms. Browning said she recently reached out to quilters on Facebook and heard from 71 people who have made a combined total of nearly 15,000 masks. “We quilters are extremely much inside the thick of what’s happening using this,” said Ms. Browning, who lives in Paducah, Ky. “One thing most people have is really a stash of fabric.”
People who don’t sew could try N95 Masks For COVID-19, created by Jiangmei Wu, assistant professor of interior decorating at Indiana University. Ms. Wu, who is renowned for her breathtaking folded artwork, said she began designing a folded mask away from a medical and building material called Tyvek, as well as vacuum bags, after her brother in Hong Kong, where mask wearing is normal, suggested it. The pattern is free of charge online, as is also a video demonstrating the folding process. In tests at Missouri University and University of Virginia, scientists found that vacuum bags removed between 60 % and 87 percent of particles. However, many brands of vacuum bags may contain fiberglass or are harder to breathe through than other materials, and shouldn’t be applied. Ms. Wu used a bag by EnviroCare Technologies, which has stated it will not use fiberglass in their paper and synthetic cloth bags.
“I wanted to create a different for individuals that don’t sew,” said Ms. Wu, who said she actually is talking to various grouPS to find many other materials that will be effective in a folded mask. “Given the shortage of all types of materials, even vacuum bags might run out.”
The scientists who conducted the tests used a typical of .3 microns because which is the measure used by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for Face Masks For COVID-19.
Linsey Marr, a Virginia Tech aerosol scientist and an expert in the transmission of viruses, said the certification method for respirators and HEPA filters focuses on .3 microns because particles around that size are definitely the hardest to trap. While it seems counterintuitive, particles small compared to .1 microns are actually simpler to catch because they have a large amount of random motion that makes them bump in to the filter fibers, she said.
“Even though coronavirus is about .1 microns, it floats around in a wide range of sizes, from around .2 to several hundred microns, because people shed the virus in respiratory fluid droplets that also contain a lot of dkbeiy and proteins and other things,” said Dr. Marr. “Even in the event the water inside the droplets fully evaporates, there’s still plenty of salt and proteins along with other gunk that stays behind as solid or gel-like material. I do believe .3 microns continues to be useful for guidance since the minimum filtration efficiency will likely be somewhere around this size, and it’s what NIOSH uses.”