something a little different
After having friends and family ask us for face coverings in March, and us liking the result of our adapted pattern, we've decided to offer face coverings for sale. We're calling them face coverings to make it clear that these are non medical grade, non PPE, nose and mouth coverings.
We have priced these items for materials cost and a small portion of our time, not profit. Our pattern is a little more time consuming than some others (double layered, contoured fit & nose wire), so it takes us a little longer to sew than some other designs.
If you are a small, independent business requiring a medium/large order, please get in contact for a quote.
Sewn to a high quality, from cotton and polycotton, our face coverings cover most of the face underneath your eyes, we've included a nose wire to minimise gaping (which can reduce effectiveness) and it also helps reduce glasses fog. It also fastens comfortably behind your head to make sure you want to wear it.
Sewn by us in Sheffield
Sewn by us with pre-washed fabric, and sent to you via Royal mail or InPost.
As with current guidelines, please wash your mask before use!
Nose wire to allow you to adjust fit to your face
Tie fastening behind your head for comfort, with optional toggle add on
Large face covering area
Cotton/polycotton face covering
Scroll down a little further to add on toggles (£0.50) and our double layered chiffon 'filters' (£1.50).
If you want to order 5 or more face coverings - get in touch as we can do a custom order for a reduced price per item.
If you have a small business and want a fabric to match your work please get in touch and we can try source something for you! We can also offer you a quote for a reduced price for larger orders.
As face coverings are only any use if they're worn, we can also provide a plastic toggle for you to use with the tie on your face covering. This makes taking the face covering on and off easy, as well as allowing easy adjustments.
NEW GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES:
From July 24th wearing a mask in shops/supermarkets is compulsory and non compliance may result in a fine. (Compulsory on public transport since the 15th June).
We are in the process of updating the information below with more recent sources reflecting the new guidelines:
this article is a great new read; evaluating the use of home-made masks though!
Our face coverings are not medical grade masks or PPE, but we've tried to make them as useful as possible; by fitting the face snugly, and with a filter pocket.
OUR FACE COVERING FIT & DESIGN
Mask/face covering fit has shown to be very important for aiding in the risk management of viral transmission (see information boxes below). Face coverings are widely recommended to cover both your nose and mouth area, and masks are likely more effective the more snug they fit (see studies linked below). Because of this our face covering (non-medical grade mask) covers your face with two layers of fabric; from below your eyes, over your nose and mouth, down to your chin. It covers almost from ear to ear, with small drawstring channels to offer minor adjustments to your face shape. We've included a nose wire as standard so you can adjust this over your nose bridge and mold the mask to your face better.
Cotton masks alone may not be fully effective at blocking small particles released when breathing and talking (coughing releases larger particles). So we've left a pocket for you to add in your own filter, and information below on which "house hold available" filter materials have been tested. A new study suggests a double chiffon layer may be the best barrier outside of PPE, so we've offered that to fit into our face covering.
You can pick between a cotton/polycotton mask mix, or have a mask made from all polycotton. The latter of which is lighter, so when adding a filter may prove more comfortable if you're already not keen on something covering your face.
Below we provide you with some of the information we've found helpful recently (all either peer reviewed or well respected authorities). Caitlin's degree was in Biochemistry so has experience in information mining of this type... However we both can't get over how much conflicting and confusing information there is, even coming from the highest offices of our country.
We briefly summarise what is in a selection of the studies/articles we've been using. We've also linked; UK guidelines, CDC and WHO information, as well as research studies (which have been made freely available online from journals or were published in open access journals). As these studies/papers can be a bit intense to read we've also linked to articles that sum up the studies in a more accessible way.
We can't, won't and shouldn't make recommendations to you on what you should do for safety. We've linked and summarised the current UK guidelines as of 23/05/2020, in a attempt to show what informed our decisions for making the face covering in the way we have.
RECENT GOVERNMENT ADVICE
If you can, wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example, on public transport or in some shops. You should be prepared to remove your face covering if asked to do so by police officers and staff for the purposes of identification.
It is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off.
Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you. However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with. Face coverings do not replace social distancing. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, and/or high temperature, and/or loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste - anosmia), you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this.
FROM THE CDC
Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?
Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.
How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?
A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.
How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?
Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.
It's all a bit confusing. Not something we need when worrying about loved ones, work and our lifestyles. There's a great opinion piece in the lancet offering their take on things and comparing advice from around the world.
Click here to read > Rational use of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic, Feng et al., March 2020.
We started out being told to not wear anything, masks made no difference & of course PPE should be saved for healthcare*1. Now, we're meant to be wearing face coverings *2&3 Face coverings, in this context, are defined as something covering your mouth and face. Part of these initial reasoning may have been because research suggested non-PPE face masks were not effective, and it's vital PPE be reserved for front line workers. In addition to this surgical/cotton masks may be more effective at preventing the spread or the virus than (from someone with C-19), rather than protecting the wearer. *4 & 5 (plOs)
However, newer studies suggest surgical or cotton masks maybe more effective than wearing nothing when it comes to contracting the virus, and that using filters may help stop the smaller particles getting through homemade cotton masks. *6 & 7
For example; using a mix of fabric types, a tight weave cotton with a chiffon fabric filter performed highly in tests. Suggesting a homemade cotton mask with a filter may offer some level of protection to people. Nothing has been tested out 'in the world' and tests have mainly been 'proof of principle'. The interpretation of the data can be read in link 6 and the raw data is 7.
Make your own judgements from here about it you'd like to wear a mask or not. You may not even have contact people and so don't need one to adhere to government guidelines. It's suggested the best time for a mask to be effective is when worn with a non-symptomatic person with covid-19.
We make no recommendations, suggestions or guarantees, all we're doing is sewing cotton/polycotton masks with filter pockets and offering them to buy for people who don't have the time or skill to do so.