Talk

Advanced search

Pros and Cons For Making and Buying Face Mask

(23 Posts)
susanB86 Sat 06-Jun-20 11:04:06

Hi moms. I am not particular good at sewing so making a mask is not an easy thing for me.grin I have been looking around and found some handmade ones on Etsy but they are not effective to actually stop the virus. I am also concerned of buying disposable face mask, since that creates more waste, but they are more effective. Here is my current list of pro and cons:

Making One:
Pro - handmade is unique and pretty, less waste, support small business
Con - cotton material is no use against COVID virus and one needs to be skilled, using up my T-shirt

Buying One:
Pro - 3 layer mask can be effective, KN95 is even better
Con - waste and may lead to shortage for NHS if we all start buying

I want to understand where you stand? I am confused about the government message of making our own face mask. And they initially said face mask is no use and suddenly everything changed. I am about to return to work which I need to commute to London and sometimes have to take public transport. And I certainly don't want the risk to bring virus home to my kids or my old parents.

OP’s posts: |
Sn0tnose Sat 06-Jun-20 11:31:08

There was a link to a study on here (can’t find it, sorry) that measured the effectiveness of various face coverings and a thick, tightly woven cotton (like a cotton tea towel) obviously was nowhere near the effectiveness of a medical grade mask but better than many other coverings. I think hoover bags came out as the most effective.

I’ve made some from cotton. I don’t have the time or money to keep buying disposable masks in the quality they’d be needed. I don’t want to rely on them always being in stock when I run out. I’d like those people who are carers etc to have first dibs on those in the shops and I don’t think that they’re particularly effective if you have to wear the disposable masks for a long time.

Nothing is going to protect you completely. You’ve got to do all the other bits (Distancing, hand washing etc) and have a big dose of luck not to get infected.

peridito Sat 06-Jun-20 11:45:41

this is good

www.facebook.com/DailyMail/videos/belgian-woman-shows-diy-face-mask-with-a-simple-sock/234181941217494/

tying a stocking over a mask is supposed to improve efficacy

also suggested that holding fabric up to a light will help you choose ,more dense is better

diamonte68 Sat 06-Jun-20 11:52:42

Face masks (non-medical ones) are not particularly effective in stopping you from catching the virus, however, they are effective (to some extent) if someone who has the virus is wearing one. The virus is spread through droplets in peoples breath and mucus from coughs etc. If someone with the virus (who potentially is asymptomatic) wears a mask the majority of droplets will be contained in their mask (not all but some) so there will be less risk of the virus getting onto nearby surfaces which in turn lessens the risk of someone becoming infected from touching the surface and then touching their face/mouth.

Masks will not eradicate the spread but as Tesco likes to say "Every little helps" and if everyone wore one when in confined spaces there should be a reduction in transmission. I think the government have resisted making it compulsory while there was a shortage of PPE for medical staff plus there is always a concern that people will get a false sense of security while wearing one and will stop following the more effective methods such as hand hygeine, social distancing and not touching your face. Face masks/coverings shouldn't be viewed as a replacement for social distancing but in situations where it is impossible or very difficult to remain apart then they offer a degree of transmission reduction.

I have bought some disposable 3 ply masks to keep in my handbag / car etc and have ordered some washable ones, the idea being I will wear the washable ones when going on public transport etc but will always have a disposable one on me just in case!

TiffanyIceberg Sat 06-Jun-20 12:21:45

I've made mine with two layers of tightly woven cotton fabric with non woven polyester wadding filter. Ive also put in a wire at the top for a close fit. I read somewhere that the wadding can make it more effective.
www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200424081648.htm

ChardonnaysPetDragon Sat 06-Jun-20 12:24:09

Reusable cotton ones, I cannot bear the though of all the discarded single use masks.

Frenchfancy Sat 06-Jun-20 12:31:13

Another thing to consider is comfort. the disposable masks can be very sweaty and some materials are uncomfortable against the sensitive skin onthe face. Also elastic behind the ears all day can be uncomfortable.
We are wearing masks a lot here in France and have found the homemade ones, with a soft cotton against the face (I use an old but good quality sheet that has been washed 100s of times) and ties around the back of the head to be by far the most comfortable.

If it isn't comfortable you won't wear it so it won't matter which is more effective.

Davincitoad Sat 06-Jun-20 13:34:21

It won’t lead to a nhs shortage. They have procurement teams. This don’t steal
Nhs supplies is rubbish. Pretty sure nhs are not going to buy some well know chemist websites that are selling them....

susanB86 Sat 06-Jun-20 13:40:24

@peridito the sock made face mask is very clever and refreshing. grin
@diamonte68 very good advice I think I will buy some 3 ply ones and also try one handmade cotton ones for comfort.

@Sn0tnose As for the study you mentioned, I also saw a comparison between difference face mask and it's easy to understand. www.neodian.co.uk/what-are-the-difference-between-masks-what-is-n95

A lot of argument around the is cloth made face mask is useless. I am not a scientist so I don't know who is right.
www.infectioncontroltoday.com/mask-respirators/cloth-masks-are-useless-against-covid-19

Thank you guys for sharing your thoughts and views. I do like the suggestion of reusable mask. After some research, I see our government/NHS doesn't need KN95 (due to some standard reason but other countries are using them). So the market is open for us. the government and WHO do suggest venerable people to wear medical graded mask. I think I will get two hand made ones for me and my husband and also get some KN95, since they can be reused up to 12 hours. Although it will lack a bit of fashion blush, but health is more important .

OP’s posts: |
michaelbury Sat 06-Jun-20 15:13:01

susanB86

*@peridito* the sock made face mask is very clever and refreshing. grin
@diamonte68 very good advice I think I will buy some 3 ply ones and also try one handmade cotton ones for comfort.

@Sn0tnose As for the study you mentioned, I also saw a comparison between difference face mask and it's easy to understand. www.neodian.co.uk/what-are-the-difference-between-masks-what-is-n95

A lot of argument around the is cloth made face mask is useless. I am not a scientist so I don't know who is right.
www.infectioncontroltoday.com/mask-respirators/cloth-masks-are-useless-against-covid-19

Thank you guys for sharing your thoughts and views. I do like the suggestion of reusable mask. After some research, I see our government/NHS doesn't need KN95 (due to some standard reason but other countries are using them). So the market is open for us. the government and WHO do suggest venerable people to wear medical graded mask. I think I will get two hand made ones for me and my husband and also get some KN95, since they can be reused up to 12 hours. Although it will lack a bit of fashion blush, but health is more important .

Hi, thanks for the link. My wife and I are struggling to tell the difference between all the masks on ebay/amazon, I like the idea of reusable KN95s, where did you get yours?

PinkSparklyPussyCat Sat 06-Jun-20 15:34:04

If I have to wear one I'll be buying, although I'm hoping to get away without needing one as I don't use public transport and can avoid shops. I don't have the inclination or skills to make one.

oralengineer Sat 06-Jun-20 15:39:06

I have been buying clinical masks for a dental practice. There are many levels of face mask. The basic is a face covering, we basically wear them to stop splatter. They prevent crap landing on your face and are disposed of after each patient. The next level are still just face covers and may slow down a sneeze or a cough but don’t protect the user or patient particularly well.
Surgical masks are fluid resistant so do offer a little more protection if used with a plastic visor.
N95/FFP2/FFP3 are far more protective but need fit testing by a qualified fit tester.
I am sourcing surgical masks which are now 10x more expensive than 5mths age due to supply. A box of 50 masks now costs £35+
For FFP2/FFP3 I cannot find any available.
A lot of colleagues have been caught out by eBay fakes.
PPE is personal protective equipment. Our minimum for return to work is fluid restart mask and face shield with apron and gloves. This is for examining patients.
For the general public mask wearing is not for protecting themselves but to reduce spread when social distancing cannot be adhered to. If everyone wears a mask/face covering then everyone is protecting everyone else.
For health care workers it is and always was to protect the wearer from being splattered by saliva and other debris, also helps if patients breath stinks or if general hygiene is lacking.However the FFP3 filtered respirator will protect the patient if the health care worker has covid.
Since most people I’ve seen are not wearing masks properly I doubt that the claims some are making regarding the reduction in infection rate is realistic.

oralengineer Sat 06-Jun-20 15:41:14

*resistant not restart

Baaaahhhhh Sat 06-Jun-20 15:43:59

I've bought some from a local lady, sells them on Etsy. Her's are three layered, two different cotton layers, and a chiffon or silk layer inbetween. Expensive, but if that's what you want, there seem to be plenty around.

I've also ordered some others from a local tailor, three layers of different cotton, and then a couple from another random seller, two layers of basic cotton.

Not arrived yet, so it will be interesting to see how they all differ. Sizing seems a bit iffy too.

What I will not do, is buy disposable medical masks. Just a big no, no, from me, having witnessed the vast blowing masses of masks and gloves outside supermarkets, it's almost criminal.

oralengineer Sat 06-Jun-20 15:46:54

KN95 are Chinese standard, N95 are US standard. The KN95 have failed testing for current medical use.

oralengineer Sat 06-Jun-20 15:48:56

If you do use disposable masks buy some nappy bags so you can safely dispose of them. They are classified as clinical waste.

susanB86 Sat 06-Jun-20 15:52:29

@michaelbury I got mine from one the website that published those articles. Here is the link if you want. www.neodian.co.uk/store/KN95-Face-Mask-5-Pack-p202213811
For the handmade ones, there are plenty on Etsy so you can pick whatever pattern you like but they are a bit expensive.

I am thinking of wearing a medical mask under and a pretty one over. flowers

@Davincitoad Its good to know that our purchasing is not affect the NHS.

OP’s posts: |
susanB86 Sat 06-Jun-20 15:59:20

@oralengineer Thanks for the explanation. Very helpful, so you are saying if we can get some of these PPE, it is better than hand made ones, right? And nappy bags is enough for disposal?

OP’s posts: |
peridito Sat 06-Jun-20 16:11:35

TiffanyIceberg your link is interesting .Particularly this bit

The researchers point out that tightly woven fabrics, such as cotton, can act as a mechanical barrier to particles, whereas fabrics that hold a static charge, like certain types of chiffon and natural*silk*, serve as an electrostatic barrier.

Bananabixfloof Sat 06-Jun-20 16:17:35

Apparently I've got to wear masks at work when I return next week.
Anyone found tie behind the head washable ones at a fair price?
I've seen lots on etsy and the like, but most have ear loops. I can guarantee ear loops will drive me demented and the ones work are providing are paper with ear loops. Not sure I can even breathe with the paper ones. Not tried them yet to be fair.

LookToTreblesGoingTreblesGone Sat 06-Jun-20 16:41:29

I bought a cloth one from eBay that has an insert pocket. I folded up a bamboo cloth (I have a roll of them for cleaning) and put that in.
I read that if you can't blow out a flame while wearing it then it's fairly effective. I went blue in the face trying to blow out a candle (didn't manage) so I assume it's reasonable.

LookToTreblesGoingTreblesGone Sat 06-Jun-20 16:43:08

...or at least better than nothing!

peapoppy Sat 06-Jun-20 16:51:26

I've made my own mask, because it means I can make it to fit me perfectly and I can use the fabric which is most breathable for me. I've used a single layer of thin fabric, but I'm only using mine to allow me to get on public transport/go into shops, and I'll be making sure I'm very well distanced (I only go to places that aren't busy), so I'm not too concerned about its actual use as protection. I don't have a sewing machine, so I just hand sewed it in front of the TV over a couple of nights.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »