I may dabble in mask making again… singing without a mask is too damn risky

Masks for singers: design specializations for breathability, filtration, fit and acoustics based on the science of singing, particles & COVID.
— Read on makermask.org/constructing-masks-for-singers/amp/

Someone at church contracted Covid during Holy Week; we’ve relaxed mask requirements, but now that seems risky. Especially for those of us in the choir, and though we have “singers’ masks,” they’re not very good. Meanwhile, infection rates are trending upward, a young family member tested positive, and an older family member has an upper respiratory infection (not Covid).

It seems to me that we’ll see a summer spike as people attend large events – we’re traveling, too – and I expect that masks will be needed intermittently.

This pattern looks… hefty but I’ll make some this week and see if it’s more comfortable/less foggy than my current KN95s. I have some 3M N95 masks (“3D style”) arriving tomorrow. I will test one for “singability” and whether my glasses fog up with every sustained note and exhalation.

But I have the right kind of materials to work with:

  • Tightly woven cotton, especially batik, for the inner layer
  • Nonwoven polypropylene like Filti or interfacing
  • A different cotton for the outer layer

Not to mention all the elastic, cord stoppers, and other notions. I took a look at the “burrito method” of construction, which minimizes center seams while adding a channel to insert boning to hold the fabric away from the lips and nostrils. My previous box pleated design kept fabric too close to my lips, my curved design has a vertical central seam.

Here’s a YouTube playlist with the original singer’s mask design, and the updated construction method.

The designer has a Spoonflower account, where I like to browse for quilting fabric for making small projects, so I have to look her up. Her construction method of the original open source pattern actually makes sense.

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