Nurse Tommye Austin is sharing her pattern and step-by-step instructions for making a mask with up to 97.8% filtration efficiency.
She bought some air conditioner filters from a local hardware store and began sandwiching pieces of the filters between layers of surgical draping. After experimenting with the components and adding a piece of metal that creates a snug fit across the bridge of the nose, Austin had a design that’s ready for prime time.
- Cotton weave fabric or surgical drape
- AC Filter material with a MERV rating of >13 or better
- All-purpose thread
- Bobbin thread
- 1/8 inch elastic (20 inches per mask)
- Swimmer’s tape
- Cut two 12 x12 pieces of AC filter material with a Merv rating of 13 or higher. Cut two pieces of 1/8 inch elastic: neck piece is 8 inches and head pieces is 10 inches. Please measure your head and neck if you want a tighter seal.
- Fold the 12 x 12 inch square of fabric in half.
- Fold Fabric 1 inch upward on each side to create air pocket. This fold creates the air pocket that allows the user to breathe better and avoid carbon dioxide build up.
- Measure mask across the face from cheek to cheek and mark.
- Press down seams at top of mask for ½ inches
- Trim edges across the top of the mask
- Insert metal nose piece and stitch it in place.
- Stitch each end elastic to each corner at the top of the mask. Stitch all layers together using a straight stitch. The filter material should be sandwiched between layers of the cotton fabric or surgical drape.
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