In such circumstances of a prevalent and powerful virus outbreak, people around the globe now have to wear face coverings when out of the house to help limit the spread.
While primary healthcare workers optimise medical surgical masks and respiratory protection, you may want to start covering your face, wherever you live.
The principles say that: more layers of fabric the better, and the mask fits snugly around the face, and you should be able to breathe easily. You can make these masks if you’re skilled with a sewing machine, like cutting up old t-shirts or just want a fast fix.
One research has shown that tightly woven cotton or twill, natural silk or quilted cotton cloth is the best fabrics to use. But with what you have in your house, you can also make do.
Here’s our guide to make two main types of face masks: stitched and non-stitch.
The Use Of A Sewing Machine To Make The Face Mask
– Cotton (10 x 6 inches or approximately 25 x 15 cm) material
– 2 x 6-inch (15cm) elastic or rubber band pieces, hair elastics or fabric strips
– A Sewing Machine
– Needle and floss
– A pair of scissors
– The wire used in jewellery, or any thin wire (optional)
– First, cut the material to about 10 x 6 inches or approximately 25 x 15 cm to make a face mask with a sewing machine (even though it is possible to create this face mask pattern by stitching by hand).
– Using two different fabrics, if you want to make it abundantly clear which part of your mask goes in the front and which one goes over the back. This will help you avoid placing the mask back on the front.
– Next on top of each other, put your two pieces of cloth. You want the design that you want to be on the front of your mask. The inside of your mask will be the fabric piece facing you.
– First, fold about 1/4-inch or 0.5-1cm over the long sides of the material. Pin in position (if you don’t have any pins, you can still use a needle or just keep checking that your fabric is kept together and hem.
– Do not think too much. Hem just means fastening over and stitching the contours of your fabric so that it does not rupture and stays together. To help you design it around your nose, you may also add some thin wire to the top brim of your face mask. (to help avoid your specs fogging up)
– Jewellery wire works well for this. Place it along the top length of the specimen to add wire, and then fold over and stitch it down.
– When the size of your face mask has been sewn, fold about 1/2 inch (1.5cm) over the ends of your face mask, secure and hem the sides as well.
– You can loop your elastic or hair elastics through it once you have formed your side brim.
– To do this you will need a needle, or a pin, or a safety pin or simply something you can use to stab the elastic through your hem-a thin pen might do the trick.
– Tie your elastic or hair loops into secure knots with your ties threaded through the ends of your mask, and transfer the knots until they can be concealed inside the hem.
– To hold the rubber in place, you can then change your face mask to suit your face, and apply some sewing to either end of your face mask.
– You can stitch the whole thing in one attempt, rotating it as you go, or you can build a face mask with a filter pocket if you are a trained sewer.
– You may also be able to add your elastic before you hem it in.