The new Coronavirus has given rise to the invention of improvised logistics in many countries.
Although homemade face masks not medically approved, you should bear in mind that, it is not just hospitals that need face masks. Healthcare workers in other facilities like nursing homes and urgent care centers are also dealing with mask shortage while working with COVID-19 patients.
Note that it’s best to use the right fabric when doing your own masks
Now, What fabric should I use?
The best fabric for homemade masks is a tightly woven, 100% cotton fabric. Things like denim, bedsheets, and heavyweight shirts are all good options. Avoid knit fabrics (e.g. jersey T-shirts) because they create holes when they stretch, which the virus could get through. Make sure to prewash fabrics using hot water to kill germs and to pre-shrink the material so it doesn’t change shape after healthcare workers wash it themselves.
We spoke with several healthcare professionals, and it’s clear that there are no specific guidelines or regulations around making homemade masks at this time. Still, there are some best practices you can follow if you want to help. On top of a sewing machine and fabric, you’ll need a nonwoven filter fabric to help block out particles and a metal piece (like a paper clip) to make it fit snugly around the nose.
Now I want to take you through the step by step guide in sewing fabric face mask.
- Print pattern
- Cut pattern out
- Use the pattern to cut 2 cotton fabric pieces
- Use the pattern to cut 2 interfacing pieces (MUST be nonwoven)
- Place cut fabric with front sides together
- Place both layers of the interfacing together on top of the fabric (on the backside of the fabric)
- Sew top 9” seam (2.5-3 stitch length is best) with ¼” seam allowance
- Flip open with the front side of fabric up
- Press seam flat to one side
- Insert metal piece along the seam between the 2 pieces of fabric
- Stitch ½” rectangle that is indicated at top of the pattern (with wrong sides together) to secure a metal piece
- Flip back to right sides together, stitch bottom 9” seam
- Flip back to right side out and press the bottom seam
- Use the pattern to help mark pleats. Pleat the 3 pleats all in the same direction, put a pin keep them in place
- Cut the binding tape at 36” per side
- Find the center point of the binding and the center point of the mask and pin the binding on the mask with the mask sandwiched between the binding
- Sew binding
- Repeat on the other side of the mask
- Press pleats
- Finally, pat yourself on the back, because you are making a difference!