How to make a face mask
DIY Face Masks
Interested in making your own mask? We've taken the time to compile some do's and don'ts of home made mask making! Let's get started.
Making your own mask with readily available things at home, with your family members can be fun and a creative activity. But before we get started, a few important notes:
- Protecting others - Its important to note that Masks made at home are not really meant to protect you. There meant to protect others. from you in case you have it, but show no symptoms. In other words, wearing a a mask helps mitigate the risk of you accidentally transmitting the coronavirus in case you are an asymptomatic carrier.
- Don't forget the rest - Covering your face when you leave the house, is a voluntary public health measure and must not replace proven precautions like self-quarantine at home, social distancing and thoroughly washing your hands.
Now, let's get to the fun stuff.
What Fabric should I use?
Cotton fabric is likely your best choice given what you likely have in your house. Should you use Cotton, the CDC recommends two layers of tightly woven, 100% cotton material. Holding the fabric up to bright light. If a lot of light comes through the cloth, its probably not the best choice of cloth to make your own mask. Another way of checking the best fabric to make your own mask would be to try and blow a candle (placed at a distance of about 12-15 inches) with the fabric covering your face. The fabric preventing the flame from blowing off would be the ideal one to make your mask.
What is the best pattern or shape?
There is no gold standard pattern for DIY masks. For the ultimate protection, ensure your mask fits the contour of your nose, leaving no gaps for particulates to sneak their way in.
It is extremely important the mask cover your entire nose and mouth, which means that the mask should fit underneath your chin. If you yawn and mask falls off, then that's a good indicator that your mask doesn't fit around your chin enough. Adjustable straps are not easy to make, so choose elastic bands. Be sure to make sure your elastic bands aren't too small, otherwise they will pull or pinch your ears.
How can masks be made at home?
- Masks at home can be either hand stitched or sewn with a sewing machine.
- Masks can be stitched with unused and un-torn t-shirts, handkerchiefs, veils or bandanas.
- Do not use synthetic and semi-synthetic cloth
- It is advised that every person should have two masks, so that they can be reused by washing and then ironing.
Can you reuse your home-made mask?
Yes, so long as you use washable cloth.
How to clean home-made masks?
These masks should be laundered before and after each use, to clean off any germs you might have picked up in public. Hand-wash the mask or put it in a mesh wash bag in the washing machine and use high heat setting.
Are these masks effective?
Yes. Though if you want to save yourself time and money and have a more personalized fit, we suggest a professional masks. Some professional masks are made with fabric that have a higher efficiency and filtering particulates. And professional masks have adjustable straps and boning to ensure there's no gaps for particulates to find there way through.
Although Homemade masks as per studies are significantly less effective than surgical masks, they are effective enough for general purpose use. Frontline workers need higher protection because they are at risk of something called "Viral Load". Viral Load is when you are exposed to a massive amounts of the virus all at once and your immune system is overloaded. So it really comes down to how much you are exposed. Should you go the grocery store, the likelihood of you being exposed to as much virus as a frontline healthcare worker is far less, so the efficiency you need is frankly not as high.
Masks can’t replace social distancing measures, maintaining at least a 6 feet distance from others and staying home as much as possible is the best way to prevent the spread of virus. Frontline healthcare workers can't maintain social distancing, so again, that's why they need higher efficiency masks.
What are some pros of using DIY masks?
- DIY masks are fun and creative activity.
- Making your own masks and using them prevent hoarding of respirators that are essential for healthcare workers.
- DIY masks can avoid shortage of other masks in the market.
- A fast assembly is ensured while making your own mask
What are some cons of using DIY masks?
- Some designs of DIY masks provide only a single layer of protection
- Some specific designs may require sewing skills.
- DIY masks at time may fall apart or shift easily.
- DIY come at an opportunity cost of spending time doing other things
- They may not fit as well as professionally made masks.
A Few Additional Tips
- Opt for a mask that ties around the ears, rather than one that has standard elastic bands. The ties can be adjusted to fit each Dave better than the elastic band.
- Make sure to use a dry mask. When the mask gets wet, even from moisture, fabric could be more likely to transport the virus.
- Wash the mask periodically.
- Avoid bleach and other harsh chemicals until we know the effect of the chemicals on the fabric’s effectiveness.
Though self- made masks may not hold up as well as any other professional masks, they seem to be a great option as an alternative when one is unable to purchase one. Buying a highly engineered mask, perfectly fitted and comfortable, providing maximum resistance from pathogens and contagions is always recommended. Please visit www.remasque.com to get your own high quality face mask, made of sustainable and anti- microbial bamboo fabric, with adjustable straps for a personalized fit.
Learn some simple techniques of making your own face mask with things available at home: