April 17, 2020

4 Comments



We Are Making Face Masks

The Cat Ball, LLC is making face masks for the coronavirus pandemic

We have retooled our cat bed production and are now making reusable fabric face masks for public use. 

Our fabric face masks:

Washable and reusable fabric face mask with a pocket for additional filter, made in USA

Why should you wear a mask?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you cover your face when you’re out in public and can’t follow social distancing guidelines, you can read the CDC recommendation here. Evidence suggests that the coronavirus can be spread while talking or breathing, so wearing a mask can help to prevent you from unknowingly spreading the virus. It’s still very important to wash your hands frequently and to practice social distancing.

What’s the proper way to wear a mask?

Wash your hands first, then with clean hands, cover your nose and mouth with the mask and secure it, making sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask. Once your mask is on, it’s important not to touch the front of your mask. Refrain from adjusting or pulling down the front of your mask while you’re wearing it and remember not to touch your face. When you’re ready to take your mask off, remove it from behind by loosening the ear loops or ties and pulling it away from your face. Put your used mask in a dedicated laundry bag and immediately clean your hands with soap and water or a hand sanitizer.

How can you clean a washable mask?

After you've been wearing a face mask you need to assume it is "contaminated" and should be careful of how you remove it, store it, and wash it.

  • Grasp the corner or ear loop to remove and pull away from the face
  • Place the used mask in a "contaminated" storage area until you wash it
  • Wash fabric masks after each use
  • Remove and discard any filtering material you put in the mask
  • Immediately wash hands after removing the mask
  • Wash with soap and water, buy hand or in a machine
  • Wash hands after any time you handle contaminated clothing or masks

Cleaning the masks that we make

Most of our masks are 100% cotton and subject to shrinking or color run if washed in hot water. Using a hot dryer can also cause shrinking. Here are some additional tips for washing these fabrics. Remember that any used face mask is contaminated and you need to also follow safe handling procedures (see the section above)

  • Our face masks can be hand washed or machine washed. I usually wash a few of mine at a time in a mesh lingerie bag
  • New cotton fabrics, especially bold or dark colors, will often bleed with the first wash (or two). A product called Shout Color Catcher works well to capture the fabric dye. I was able to buy these at a local grocery store. You can avoid drastic color run by using cold water. This article has information on using vinegar or salt
  • If the face masks ball or wad up during the wash then pull, stretch and smooth the fabric out while still damp
  • I hang dry or flat dry to avoid wadding up and excess shrinking
  • It's OK to iron face masks made of cotton fabric unless they have an inner layer of a substrate that should not be ironed. It's OK to iron all of the cotton fabric masks that we make. Do not iron elastic
  • For more information on washing and storing face masks, and for managing fogging if you wear glasses, see this blog post

Approximate dimensions of our face mask

Approximate dimensions of the first two production runs of our face mask design

What are we working on next?

I'm working on a smaller size for kids, and I'm exploring some other design variations. Please comment if you have suggestions, ideas or questions. 

Additional resources about face masks and the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease:

https://www.cdc.gov/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Face-Coverings-Guidance.aspx

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/08/well/live/coronavirus-face-mask-mistakes.html 


Jennifer Boaro
Jennifer Boaro

Author



4 Comments

Johnna
Johnna

April 29, 2020

Just received our first two masks form you, and they are just right! Thank you, THANK YOU for making them! The mask fits well, and is comfortable. Love the pocket for an added filter!

Taylor Scobie Humphrey
Taylor Scobie Humphrey

April 29, 2020

I ordered two of your wonderful masks—and, now the cats are agitating for their own!

Laura
Laura

April 23, 2020

You are the best to take this on. We all need face masks and many of the.

Nancy Rosi
Nancy Rosi

April 21, 2020

Thanks Jennifer for taking up this effort to help us all stay healthy!!

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