COVID-19 protection: Put origami on your face?
When the news hit about face-protection shortages amid a global pandemic, an Oak Grove couple asked whether the current mask dilemma could be solved creatively.
Michael Leoniak sat down and began folding paper to discover a simple solution to make a mask from a single sheet of material.
"We have friends who are nurses, and it's just terrifying what they're going through, so we're trying to do our part," said Leoniak's wife, Christine Janae Leoniak.
After watching her husband make the first origami mask, Janae Leoniak made an instructional video and free downloadable pattern so everyone can replicate the technique at home. She notes that the Origami Health Mask is a folded, nonsewn solution that can be made using stiff fabrics, heavy nonfusible interfacing, Tyvek or N95-like sheet material. While not advertised as a replacement for the N95s in short supply for health care workers to protect them from contracting viruses like COVID-19, the origami masks are snug fitting and can be a double layered for added protection.
"We wanted to empower people that may not have sewing machines, or may not be at home to use their sewing machines to make a mask," Janae Leoniak said. "We wanted anyone to be able to create a safe, snug-fitting mask with easy-to-find materials. After a few trials, all the pieces came into focus and the mask worked."
With the Origami Health Mask, the couple brought their extensive backgrounds in the pattern-making and wellness industries to focus. The founders of Oomph Cooking Blends who are pioneering a new food category have spent their professional lives in innovation departments creating new products, solutions and services to satisfy unmet needs.
"We are makers and highly skilled at prototyping, so the scenario was perfect to tinker and see what could be," Janae Leoniak said.
For more information, visit oomphcooking.com
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