The coronavirus pandemic necessitated the use of a face mask as a protective shield to the virus from entering into the respiratory channels. The WHO has mandated its use to avoid the spread of the virus from an infected to an uninfected person. It also acts as a protective covering to ban the entry of viruses in the air into our bodies. So, considering all these, to protect ourselves from the invisible virus invasion into our body, a mask is required and should be worn when moving out into people or when infected.
As masks became mandatory to wear, a large demand and supply are happening to the manufacturers in the market. This has led to its scarce availability and heavy price. So, why don’t we make a mask on our own? It is not a tougher job. All you need to have is a piece of cloth, a sewing thread, and needle, or a sewing machine.
A disposable mask serves the purpose only once. Also, it causes added pollution to the environment which stagnates on land and doesn’t decompose. Hence, go for something that is reusable, eco-friendly, and serves the best purpose to shield your face. A piece of fabric is the best solution. Hence, try these DIY (Do it yourself) face masks easily at home.
The below-mentioned methods of weaving a face mask are followed according to the outlines given by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Below mentioned are a few simple methods to get your face mask ready.
1. A bandana-style face mask
• A bandana or scarf
• 2 x elastic or rubber bands, or hair ties
• A paper towel or kitchen roll (optional)
Choose the right bandana or scarf. Hold it up to the light and see how much you can see through it. The less you can see, the better is the pick. If the material is too thin, then it is quite ineffective to shield. A tightly woven cotton fabric is the best one to use.
As per the CDC recommendation, the way of doing a bandana mask is folding it in half, then fold it again twice. It is done lengthways from both the top and bottom. Then place rubber bands or hair ties around the strip of the material. Then fold the material towards the middle and tuck the ends into each other if possible.
2. A T-shirt face mask
• A T-shirt
• Paper towel (optional)
If you have a T-shirt that you don’t mind cutting up, find it to make a mask. Note that you need not use one that is too old that has holes in them or worn out. A cotton and opaque fabric fit good to use.
Start by simply cutting the bottom of the T-shirt. The height of the amount of material cut must be the length that covers from nose to underneath the chin (see it to be around 4-8 inches or 17-20 cm). Get a measuring tape out if ever you are unsure about the measurements. Cut bigger than you think so that you can trim later if you find any excess.
Then cut around 6-7 inches to make the ties for your mask. Cut your ties so that you can retie them around your head. Adjust accordingly until you get a snug fit around your nose and chin. If required, you can add a paper towel or coffee filter and secure it with a safety pin for a fine grip.
The above two methods are simple methods that don’t require any thread or needle, needle, or a sewing machine. In the next two methods, one finds the use of needle and thread, while the other one finds the need for a sewing machine.
3. A cloth face mask without using a sewing machine
• Cotton fabric (10-11 inches or 25-28 cm in diameter)
• 2 x 6 inch or 15 cm pieces of elastic or rubber bands, hair ties or strips of cloth to tie
• A plate or some round object to draw around
• Thread and needle
This method of doing a face mask can be done with or without using a sewing machine. This model of the mask gives you a round cover around your face which is better than a rectangular pattern. It gives a nice look and easy to do the method.
First, place your material face down on a flat surface. Place a round plate that is roughly 25-28 cm in diameter on top of it. Draw around the circumference and cut out the circle shape. Then fold it twice so that you get a folded triangle shape on top of each other. Cut down the sides of the triangles so that you have four separate shapes.
Place one shape up and another one down on its top and pin them together. Do the same with the other two shapes. Stitch along the curved edge of the fabric with a needle and thread. See that you don’t find any gaps between the stitches. Once you are done with this process, unfold these triangles to see a dome-like structure. Place these dome-like structures on top of each other and sew around the edges leaving a small gap at one end.
Now, insert your ties into the face mask. Fold one of the pointy edges of the mask over itself and then sew it down. Do the same on the other side. Now you have created a little pocket to insert your ties. Use a safety pin or needle and tie to thread the ties through the pocket. Tie up the elastic and you are ready to use the mask.
4. A cloth face mask using a sewing machine
- Cotton fabric (roughly 10 x 6 inches or 25 x 15 cm)
- 2 x 6 inch or 15 cm pieces of elastic, strips of cloth, hair ties or rubber bands
- Sewing machine
- Needle and thread
First, cut your material to roughly 25 x 15 cm. then place two pieces of fabric on top of each other. Do it in such a way that the front portion you wish to see faces down. The piece of material facing up will be the inside of your mask.
Then fold over the long sides to around 0.5-1 cm and then fold the edges of the material and stitch them so that the fabric will stay together without fraying. Once hemmed along the lengths, fold over the sides by 1.5 cm and hem those sides too.
You can thread your elastic or hair ties as secure knots and move them until they are tucked inside the hem. Adjust your face mask to fit your face. Add some stitches on its either end to keep the elastic in place. This is so simple to do but if you are a seasoned sewer, then a sewing machine is easier to use and this process can be done in a single go. If you are a beginner, you better try it with a thread and needle to get a better output. This is quite a rectangular-shaped face mask with folds embedded that covers the nose to chin part of the face.
Try these to make your face masks at home with the available fabric or material. Make sure they are breathable enough and also less porous. A mask alone cannot prevent you from infecting the virus. It just acts as a barrier to spread the infection from person to person. For the time being, make sure you wear whenever you move out. Also, try using a reusable mask to minimize your carbon footprint.