With the pandemic getting severe around the country, the need of the hour is safety and what could turn out to be better than washing hands and wearing a mask, and staying indoors as much as possible.
While the news reports show the shortage of masks, sanitizers and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), we cannot rely upon shopping surgical masks for protection. Also, when we can make an easy mask at home and due to limited supplies, why not to leave and reserve them for medical institutions which are in more need of these than us.
This no-sew option and is easy to wear and prepare. Make sure it has several layers and should not be thin.
Things required for a basic cloth mask:
- A clean and fresh tightly knitted cotton material (A t-shirt or scarf would work if it is big enough to be folded several times)
- Two hair ties or rubber bands
How to make it:
- Cut straight horizontally across 7-8 inches from the bottom of a t-shirt.
- Lay the material out flat in front of you and turn it so the side that used to be the bottom of the T-shirt (it would usually double stitched) is facing left or right.
- Fold it from the bottom to the middle and from the top to the middle. Repeat this step a second time.
- Loop a rubber band or hair tie around both the ends (left and right), tie a few inches away as to leave some of fabric, so each side looks like a candy wrapper.
- Gather the excess material and fold it over the band, with each side meeting in the middle, this adds another layer to the mask.
- Put a band over each ear, making sure the material is fit snugly to your face. The light pressure on your face will keep the material and rubber bands intact in place.
Word of caution: Choose any tightly woven or cotton/ poly fabric and hold it up in light to see how tightly is it weaved. Use the same fabric for outer and lining or use a different to remember which side is clean. Don’t use stretchy, sequined or velvet fabric. Wash all fabrics before sewing to pre-shrink and to assure that you are working with the most sanitary materials possible. Cotton and polyester blends may have additional properties of repelling water and so makes them better barriers to keep droplets soaking in from the outer layers.
Over to you
What’s better than not standing in queues or waiting to get stocks back online to order again! Try making a mask at home and ensure more safety as you can wash and reuse it and also you don’t have to step outside to get one. Stay safe, stay indoors!