Fabric oh Fabrics and Carbon filters? – Jessica Salazar

This week and the previous week were a wake up call. After a couple of months of working on this project we are finally at the stage in which we must find and order the materials we need to create the prototype. Our team is both nervous and excited for the process yet to come but we’ve bee working diligently to ensure that the prototype process runs smoothly, though I doubt anything will be achieved without failing a couple of times. After all, Thomas Edison did say “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” meaning that its ok to make mistakes we just have to learn from them and improve from then on.

This week in particular we were finally able to properly discuss the materials we were sure we needed and the materials we weren’t sure if they were relevant. For instance, while some of us wanted multiple layers of fabric to create the mask others wanted to have fabric and filter paper to ensure the air is properly purified with the usage of the mask. In October, when we went on the short “field trip” to the nearby stores around our school, we came across Hancock fabric. Despite the skepticism that we were going to find anything of relevance we came across a lot of materials that we saw fit. Thus, about a third of the materials we are ordering are coming from Hancock Fabric, such as the decorative fabric and an additional fabric to be a border between the individuals face and the filter paper.

The picture demonstrates a variety of fabrics. Picture taken from http://artgalleryfabrics.typepad.com/
The picture demonstrates a variety of fabrics. Picture taken from http://artgalleryfabrics.typepad.com/

Despite finding some filter materials within the store, we found that most of the filter fabric were flammable. And we all agreed that we didn’t want anyone’s face to burst into flames if they, for whatever reason, came into contact with fire. During our dilemma, I came across carbon/charcoal filter which was often used in respro mask and proved to be quite successful within their reviews. From then on I was determined to find a good bargain in order to acquire such majestic filters and I actually managed to find it in Amazon for a fairly good price. I was very proud of myself, and carbon/charcoal filters became my obsession for the day.

The picture demonstrates a mask with a carbon filter embedded within it. This picture was taken from http://www.globalcaremarket.com/

At the end of the day we were all pretty confident on what we wanted to order and needed. My only concern was, how are we going to sow the mask. Now, I’ve taken an interior and fashion design class in middle school and I’ve had SOME experience in sowing but I am not confident enough to place my mad skills in this project. Hopefully one of us has the experience needed and if not, then to the library I go for reference or to the fabric store for lessons. What shall await us? Tune in next week for the insight.

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