Updated: Oct 4
As the severe shortage of public and medical personal protective equipment slammed America in March, citizens worldwide rolled up their sleeves and said, "We'll take care of this." The result? Anyone with a will or a way can find helpful "how-to's" on the Internet for making face masks and all manner of hand-made protective aids. YouTube provides untold numbers of free helpful-hint videos, all from the goodness of the hearts of talented U.S. residents who stepped up.
While all this was happening, the European Union (EU) quietly defined public or consumer face masks as "Category 2" and made them distinct from "Category 1", meaning different from hospital and medic Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Medical Devices (MDs). Setting criteria for breathability and filtration level helped face mask makers, whether home crafters or manufacturers, provide a minimum and specific level of quality.
Below, a representation of the general U.S. residents who stepped up to donate their expertise to help fight against the virus that ails us. These modern day Rosie and Rexie the Riverters stood up to fill a gap that continues at a time when the U.S. still has no standards for consumer cloth face masks. #ConsumerFacemaskStandards
Jan from Cleveland Ohio's Pins and Needles shared a how-to video on Upcycle T-Shirts to Make Mask Ties. The soft stretchy ties replace need to purchase elastic, bias tape, shoe laces and other items for securing mask to head.
Cindi from Ephrata, Washington's The Fabric Patch is a savvy quilter/nurse practitioner. She has shared the video What We Learned After Making 167,000 Masks and more. Cindi also shared free pattern-designs produced by an engineer we'll call simply Jesse, to create low or no gap, fitted mask-designs for regular-, narrow-, and wide-shaped faces.
Jesse designed 24 free face-mask patterns to choose from based on taking two simple measurements. Once measured up, makers find the closest match. You also can see a simple picture aid on how to take the two measurements needed here. Still not an exact fit? Cindi shows how to make the slightest of tailoring adjustments on this video at minute-marker 21:40.