As you know, coronavirus pandemic is spreading globally and is not slowing down. Due to this, face masks are in huge demand right now. Healthcare settings currently need millions of masks. Even you are unable to get one for your safety due to its severe shortage.
Moreover, if you are looking for stay-home activity during the novel-coronavirus outbreak, making a DIY mask can be a great leisure activity for you. But the question is how to make a mask at home?
Hospital workers are turning to social media for help due to the PPE shortage crisis. Various hand-sewn surgical masks are trending on youtube channels, Facebook groups, and Instagram by multiple crafters joining together to figure out how to make masks. You can also join this movement.
This article will guide you proper steps to make a mask, and you can use it for your personal use or donate to healthcare facilities.
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Do Fabric Face Masks Work?
Well, the answer to this question is yes and no. DIY face masks are not as effective as N95 face masks, which are commonly used by the affected patients. It is one of the recommended masks for COVID-19. But due to its increasing demand, you are unable to find online or in the market quickly.
According to the CDC, use N95 for the best protection against the virus, but if it is not available, you can use a bandana or scarf to cover your mouth. Some people also wear homemade versions on N95 to make it last longer. Homemade cloth masks can prevent you from catching this virus.
Fabric face masks are helpful when you are in the mart for shopping or in a pharmacy, where it is hard to maintain a six-foot distance from other shoppers.
Which Fabric is Best?
The fabric used for hand-made face masks should be 100% cotton and tightly woven. Woven shirts and bedsheets are good options to consider. If you are willing to donate masks, we would recommend avoiding knit fabrics like jerseys T-shirts. The main reason is that knit fabrics stretch and create holes, which is a drawback because the virus can get through.
Do not forget to pre-wash the fabric using hot water and washing detergent to kill any germs and bacteria. Also, remember to pre-shrink the material, so it does not change shape after the healthcare workers wash.
Can a Face Mask Prevent The Spread of The Virus?
Covering your nose and mouth is vital during the COVID-19 pandemic as it helps to protect others and halts the transmission of this deadly virus. The coronavirus is transmitted through cough, sneeze, and other respiratory droplets. Sometimes, even if you get infected, there are no symptoms. So, it is better to wear a mask, also if you do not feel sick.
Check this article for choosing the best face mask for coronavirus.
If you are wearing a mask and you sneeze, the respiratory droplets will remain in the mask. It is also vital that you wear the mask correctly and do not touch yours repeatedly. Always wash or discard the mask without touching its front.
You should take off your mask by removing the elastic straps behind your ear. Keep it away from your face, and do not touch its front side.
How Often Do You Need to Wash a Homemade Mask?
A homemade mask should be washed after every time you use it. If you put it in your purse then stick it back on your face, this can be a danger sign for you. It is best to either discard or wash it properly to avoid any risk.
People who pull down the mask, then eat a snack and put it back on, is also risky because you have gotten the dirty stuff on the mask, on your hands, and into your mouth.
Bear in mind if you are wearing a mask in public, it means you care about others, and it should be seen as a badge of honor. In short, you are doing your job in limiting how you might affect others.
Steps to Make a Homemade Face Mask With a Sewing Machine
To make a face mask at home, you will need the following materials to start with:
- Cotton fabric
- A sewing machine or sewing kit
If you do not have a sewing machine, there is no need to worry. Head over to amazon and get one. We recommend the Liheya mini sewing machine, which is portable and easy to use for beginners. It is also suitable to sew DIY face masks and four-layer summer jeans.
Now, you know about the materials, let’s get started and make a mask.
- First, you need to print a pattern for the mask; it is readily available on Pinterest or any other website
- Now, you need to cut the pattern.
- Cut two fabric pieces by keeping the pattern on them. It should be according to the pattern size and dimensions.
- Use the same pattern to cut two interfacing pieces, but it should be non-woven
- Then, you have to place both cut fabrics with the front side together.
- On the backside of the fabric, place both layers of interfacing together on top of the material.
- Now, you have to sew the 9” seam with ¼” seam accordingly.
- Flip open the fabric from the front side and press seam flat from one side
- Between the two pieces of fabric insert metal piece along the seam
- You have to stitch ½” rectangle and top of the mask with wrong sides together and to secure the metal piece.
- Now, you have to sew the bottom of the mask by flipping back the right sides together.
- To mark pleats, you need to use the pattern, pleat the three pleats in the same direction, and use a common pin to keep them in place.
- By finding the center point of the binding, mask, and pin and secure the cover sandwiched between the binding
- Sew binding and press the creases
- Finally, pat yourself because you are done making your mask
If you do not want to use a sewing machine or you have no idea how to use it. You can make a face mask with a simple T-shirt for your personal use. You will need the following things:
- Pre-washed T-shirt
- Pre-washed two elastic loops
Cotton blend T-shirt or 100% cotton fabric is suitable to make a face mask. You can also use a dish towel to make a face mask.
- Cut down 18 by 18 square of fabric from the shirt and lay it down on the flat table
- Fold the fabric from the top and bottom to the center and then flip it over.
- Again you need to fold the top and bottom to the center and flip it over.
- Through each end, put the elastic loop and fold the sides over.
- In the end, you can place the folded side of your face but putting loops over your ear
Face masks are essential to prevent yourselves and others around you from the outbreak of COVID-19. You can follow this simple guide and make your masks with or without a sewing machine. Try to donate as many as you can and play your role in saving lives.
Make sure you are not hoarding the face masks as the people who are on priority include healthcare workers and infected patients. Making face masks can be a suitable pastime to kill your time during the self-isolation period.