Face mask - cottage industry

I’m glad you appreciate the “cutter - outers”… :wink: :wink: :relaxed: :relaxed:

They’re lifting the lockdown in Manche on the 11 May and everyone must wear masks.
The mairie in our village has asked Madame to make 100 and will provide the materials - soon.
“Play the music - open the cage!” as the great Arthur English used to say.

I would find it useful to get benefit of other’s experience…which pattern do you find easiest/quickest to produce, most comfortable to wear, most acceptable for the “Trump”ians amongst us (like my OH) who doesn’t want to wear one??

1 piece or two piece? With a filter of without? Single type of fabric or two different ones?

Our commune is still disorganised so I need to start up my own production. Although very sweetly I got a delivery of some hemp pillowcases I had ordered and they arrived with a beautifully made face-mask included in a lovely sage green linen.


Madame thinks that the "official " masks will be better than those she has been making from an online pattern. Will try to send you details when we have mor information.
There seems to be some difficulty in getting 5mm flat elastic, but it can still be ordered from the ebay.uk. Whether it will arrive before the 11th is uncertain in view of postal delays.

@JaneJones - After trying out a few patterns, I find this is the easier and more comfortable to wear. Can be used with a filter if prefered.


Wife has made 3 different models so far, currently using AFNOR pattern with metal strip sewn in on bridge, which she has adapted to allow filter to be placed inside, removed and replaced after use. Can supply instructions if required.


I agree that’s the simplest.

Have had the “kit” delivered, enough to make 60 masks - with a link to the AFNOR pattern and guidelines. The material is 190gm/m2 but only in ecru (2 colours are better as they help identify the “right” or “wrong” side. The pattern looks very similar to that in the link posted above by @Joyce_Hartley.
Previously I have been using tightly woven patchwork material on one side and silk on the other as apparently silk or chiffon produces a static that helps create a good barrier.


We have a non profit set up in the valley that makes masks. The 7 communes are then given the masks which are distributed by the conseil municipale. We started distributing masks last week, to the people over 70, and have now begun with those 60 and over, and those that have been identified as “fragile”, or frontline workers.
As for the old mayor/new mayor comment… all old mayors are STILL in place till at least the 15th of may. if they refuse to step up, the adjoints should take their place.

1 Like

I’m sure you have enough experience of France to know that in small communes what should happen can be derailed by family feuds, historical disputes and other complications. Our new Mayor will get there in the end, but the old Mayor is not making it easy either for him or the adjoints. So our mask making has only just got going…

I’m a conseillere municipale in my commune. For the moment it stads that the old mayor and conseil are still in place, and have, therefore, a duty to be answerable to the commune and her residents. At the same time, the “new” conseil is in no way supposed to be “mise a l’ecart” from the affairs of the commune, and any elected memeber can and should be able to read the post, have access to mails, and carry out basic duties and dialogue with the older members.

if the old mayor is that much of a pillock, it’s great news that he is soon out the door. On a side note, however, ANYONE can be at the start of an initiative, you, me, a concerned 12 year old. People are quick to look to the commune for answers, or with complaints, but at the end of the day, anyone that wishes to apply themselves to any project is free to do so. The new elus will have an attestation permanente allowing them to move freely within the commune or comm comm.

Yes we are glad to see the back of the old mayor, although would never dream of voicing this since half the village is related to him! But we are a very small commune, so it’s important that things are done without conflict as scars take a long time to heal. And yes, people do take the initiative but again better to bring people along with you rather than doing it unilaterally.

I guess you’ve taken french nationality if you are still a conseiller, or is this just until election confirmed?

I’m still Irish, but have been trying to get the bits and bobs together to change nationality (just have trouble finding the time.)
Our commune has similar issues, but the majority of the conseil (both old and new) are mature enough to remain impartial. Anyone that can’t has no place in the mairie, to be fair.

1 Like

My wife and I got a hand-delivered letter of encouragement from our out-going Maire (37 years as an elected local, departmental and regional representative and agricultural entrepreneur), and two soft, supple and well-designed masks (washable).

A very nice surprise! The masks were supplied free by a local manufacturing cooperative.


Have tried to set up a group making non-medical masks, we have spare close-woven material and a couple of spare sewing machines, on one of the Fbook groups covering our area.

So far only two responses and nobody taking up the offer of the material or sewing machines.

Depending on how often people venture out they will need more than 1 mask, perhaps 4 if they are out everyday.

Tapes are better than elastic as elastic soon loses it stretch with the frequent washing, plus tapes can be made from the donated material and elastic is in short supply.

We’ll do what we can and get our son to distribute them via the food bank he volunteers with 2/3 times a week.


Hi Grahame… are you liaising with your Maire and councillors ??? … they might well be glad of your help…


Tried that but the response was pretty dismissive, they have everything under control!

Grahame Pigney

P Help save paper - please don’t print this email unless you really need to.
P Sauvegardons la planète. Avez-vous vraiment besoin d’imprimer cet e-mail?

Good to hear they have everything under control… perhaps you can help other communes…

Quite possibly, your commune has more volunteers than they can handle/ need… which is sad for those turned away… but good to know the strength of support which exists.


Sadly not the case.

Given the number of face masks (some thousands even in a rural area such as ours) that will be required the communes need to get ahead of the curve, something they don’t seem to appreciate.

No evidence that people are being turned away because the commune(s) is actually on top of the situation.

Grahame Pigney

P Help save paper - please don’t print this email unless you really need to.
P Sauvegardons la planète. Avez-vous vraiment besoin d’imprimer cet e-mail?