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  1. #1
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    Question Face Mask V1 ear loop elastic source

    My wife and I bought two of the V1 face masks back in May 2020, and it turns out after trying several types of reusable cloth masks, they're the ones that fit each of us best (I use the large, she has the regular size) and are the most comfortable to wear for any length of time. We particularly like the elastic cord that the ear loops are made from because they have a very soft fabric outer layer and are both relatively thick and round in profile, which makes them very comfortable compared to the ear loops on the other masks we've used.

    We downloaded the patterns for the V1 mask and my wife wants to make some more of them for us to put into rotation, but she would like to get the same (or very similar) elastic cord for the ear loops. She doesn't have a clue on what terms to describe it with in order to search online for it (finding elastic in stores around where we are is nearly impossible, and we'd prefer to stay our of stores anyway, for good reason).

    Does anyone know the brand and type/model number of the elastic cord that was used on those V1 masks from May? Or if there's a good description for their characteristics that we can use to search out a supply online?

    Thanks for any info about the elastic cord (plus big thanks to Tom Bihn for making the patterns freely available).

    Rob L

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the Forums @Rob_L !

    It's great that the V1 masks work so well for you both. I don't know the source of the ear loop material, if it's not a trade secret, perhaps @Darcy can offer some help.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  3. #3
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    Hi @Rob_L ,

    Take a look at some of the earlier forum threads that discussed making masks when they released the patterns and also added tips on how to expedite fabrication (chain stitching multiple masks, etc.). In particular, take a look at Tom Bihn Mask Video Tutorial and references to “T-shirt yarn”, and also look at the later parts of the Pitching in to make simple surgical-style face masks thread

    Please be aware that production methods and tips evolved a lot during those discussions, even as some of the patterns and sizing changed. So there are a lot of useful tips about using different mask patterns and materials in those threads.

    HTH,

    moriond

  4. #4
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    This is what I use. It’s not exactly the same, but quite similar. Very stretchy and comfortable.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    Welcome to the Forums @Rob_L !

    It's great that the V1 masks work so well for you both. I don't know the source of the ear loop material, if it's not a trade secret, perhaps @Darcy can offer some help.
    Thanks for tagging @Darcy , @G42 ! Yes, it would be great if they could provide the brand(s) and cord type(s) that have been used for the mask production.

    Rob L

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    Hi @Rob_L ,

    Take a look at some of the earlier forum threads that discussed making masks when they released the patterns and also added tips on how to expedite fabrication (chain stitching multiple masks, etc.). In particular, take a look at Tom Bihn Mask Video Tutorial and references to “T-shirt yarn”, and also look at the later parts of the Pitching in to make simple surgical-style face masks thread

    Please be aware that production methods and tips evolved a lot during those discussions, even as some of the patterns and sizing changed. So there are a lot of useful tips about using different mask patterns and materials in those threads.

    HTH,

    moriond
    Thanks @moriond - I did watch the video tutorial, as well as the one on tips for speeding up production. Both are helpful, although they don't provide any info on the elastic used. I did see the link to the t-shirt yarn, but it's apparently no longer available. I tried searching the forum but haven't hit on the right combination of search terms to narrow down the posts enough - the few that looked promising so far didn't offer any clues to the source of the elastic, and the majority of results returned had nothing to do with masks. I will try sifting through the later parts of the thread on making surgical-style mask to see if there's anything about the ear loops.

    Rob L

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgrls View Post
    This is what I use. It’s not exactly the same, but quite similar. Very stretchy and comfortable.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Thanks for the suggestion, @dgrls - unfortunately it's no longer available, according to Amazon.

    Rob L

  8. #8
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    Rob, when I put it in my Amazon cart, it shows available and would be delivered (to Colorado) by this Friday. So strange that it showed unavailable to you.

  9. #9
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    Hi @Rob_L ,

    The people who were talking about T-shirt yarn were referring to the fact that you can find YouTube videos on how to make this from T-shirts. When you cut and stretch the fabric segments, they curl up to provide a comfortable alternative to elastic. If I were trying to buy something like this, I’d probably look for an Etsy store that sells products under a search term like “t-shirt yarn for masks”.

    Here’s a sample result from an Etsy store:
    3mm 1/8" Soft Elastic Mask Handmade Strap White Earloop Cord Ear Tie Rope String for Mask Sewing


    If you look at the images on the left side of the page, there’s a video that shows the different color cords for earloops and a demo of their texture when stretched.

    Alternatively, you can try sending a query to Customer Support.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_L View Post
    Thanks @moriond - I did watch the video tutorial, as well as the one on tips for speeding up production. Both are helpful, although they don't provide any info on the elastic used. I did see the link to the t-shirt yarn, but it's apparently no longer available. I tried searching the forum but haven't hit on the right combination of search terms to narrow down the posts enough - the few that looked promising so far didn't offer any clues to the source of the elastic, and the majority of results returned had nothing to do with masks. I will try sifting through the later parts of the thread on making surgical-style mask to see if there's anything about the ear loops.

    Rob L
    I found that the Amazon link @dgrls gave worked for me.

    HTH

    moriond

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_L View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion, @dgrls - unfortunately it's no longer available, according to Amazon.

    Rob L
    Last edited by moriond; 10-12-2020 at 03:54 PM.

  10. #10
    Forum Member K9TB's Avatar
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    The most I've been able to figure out is that you are looking for nylon. Baby headbands are often made of nylon, and have a similar stretchiness. They also "curl' like the TB ear straps. I've ordered these. They don't seem like they are as sturdy as the TB ones, but they are stretchy and comfortable.

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/DianaRoseN...g_id=549481786


    Beware of T shirt yarn. It's often cotton, and while it's soft and rolls or curls toward the center so it looks similar, it's not stretchy so it doesn't function the same.
    Last edited by K9TB; 10-22-2020 at 06:44 PM.
    What's better than o-rings? More o-rings.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by K9TB View Post
    The most I've been able to figure out is that you are looking for nylon. Baby headbands are often made of nylon, and have a similar stretchiness. They also "curl' like the TB ear straps. I've ordered these. They don't seem like they are as sturdy as the TB ones, but they are stretchy and comfortable.

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/DianaRoseN...g_id=549481786


    Beware of T shirt yarn. It's often cotton, and while it's soft and rolls or curls toward the center so it looks similar, it's not stretchy so it doesn't function the same.
    Hi K9TB - Thanks for the advice about nylon hairband material vs cotton t-shirt yarn. I'll show the Etsy link to my wife to see what she thinks.

    Rob

  12. #12
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    @Rob_L the availability of the cord on Amazon US seems to vary by shipping address. When I clicked on the link Amazon defaulted to my UK address and told me it was not available. When I typed in a US Zip code it was suddenly available.

  13. #13
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    My local fabric store sells 1/6" banded stretch elastic, that is the best thing I've found in person to make an ear loop. I initially made my own V1 masks with the odd and ends of elastic I already had, mostly flat elastic, and this is more comfortable. I'm not sure how it compares to what was on the masks in May, but sharing in case this is of interest to you, either the name or the photos of the item. Good luck!

    https://shop.moderndomesticpdx.com/1...yd-bundle.html

  14. #14
    Forum Member kansha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_L View Post
    Hi K9TB - Thanks for the advice about nylon hairband material vs cotton t-shirt yarn. I'll show the Etsy link to my wife to see what she thinks.

    Rob
    be careful with nylon headband 'elastic' if you press your masks while sewing...i've melted that type of material when ironing Frown

    re: 't-shirt' yarn loops...i've had good luck using single-knit fabric that has a small percentage of spandex in it.

  15. #15
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    The exact material we use isn't generally available as far as we know, but material at your local fabric shop that'd be used to make dance tights or yoga pants should be pretty similar. Stretchy, durable, and soft Smilie
    Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

    Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

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