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Cheap Face Mask

A simple concept to fulfil a desperate current need.
  [vote for,

In these difficult times there is a real shortage of protective gear for our emergency services and this suggestion concerns face masks in particular. Often these are cumbersome and unpleasant to wear. Currently they are being disposed of in vast quantities after a short period of use.

There is a cylindrical scarf which slides over the head and is known variously as a biker tube or neck tube. When the top front is lifted so as to cover the mouth and nose it is called a neck gaiter. I have a woollen version which I use as a ‘lazy’ scarf and this has become useful in recent days as a quickly deployable face mask.

I propose that a similar device be engineered using multi-layer elasticated cotton. The basic material could be made in long rolls, a length be cut off formed into a cylinder and the ends sewn together.

This could be extremely cheap and put into production in large numbers very quickly but it is so simple a concept that anyone with basic sewing skills could prepare these at home from old sheets and knicker elastic.

In use other advantages might become apparent. The device could be rotated around the neck in small increments to expose fresh material to the face. It would be possible to spray pure ethanol on to the face area in situ to give extra sterilisation when needed although some might want to spray the side or rear to avoid breathing in fumes directly. The device would be washable and hence re-useable. The device can be quickly raised and lowered in and out of use between, say, administering to patients in a hospital scenario.

Looking to the future when more relaxed conditions prevail it may be possible to enhance the basic model. For instance activated carbon could be incorporated within the layers of material. It would be possible to apply a solution of camphor to the nose area which would be an aid to those having to work with extreme odours such as a pathologist carrying out an unpleasant autopsy. At the cost of increasing thickness it might be possible to lower air resistance by using low density fibrous material within the mask which could distribute the air around the neck.

corvuscornix, Mar 30 2020


       My initial reaction was handkerchief but is it possible to zig-zag fold the correctly sized cylinder, with three sides of sewing, to give a scarf come double layer mask? Sewing lines across the roll would give cut places between each mask.
wjt, Mar 31 2020

       I need a better visual. But a bun is a definite possibility from me.
blissmiss, Mar 31 2020

       // spray pure ethanol on to the face area //   

       Anecdotal evidence suggests that in such circumstances, the best procedure is to ingest an aqueous solution of ethanol.   

       It does damn all to stop infection, but it does very effectively eliminate any anxiety the consumer may feel with respect to the situation.
8th of 7, Mar 31 2020

       How long before everyone's marching round dressed like an Imperial Stormtrooper ?
8th of 7, Mar 31 2020

       Thanks, but no thanks then, CH and corvie.
blissmiss, Mar 31 2020

       link < Societal training and culture means there is is always going to be discriminating levels to Arrrt.
wjt, Apr 02 2020

       A wine glass sewing pattern on the tube, with a bit of clever tiling could give a less scarf-like shape. Patterns to [blismiss]'s liking could be print on. Cutting would be a necessity as a part of roll use.
wjt, Apr 02 2020


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