Amid a deficiency of clinical evaluation face covers, for example, surgical masks (baggy, dispensable masks that square huge droplets. However, surgical masks don’t channel out the finer particles) and N95 masks (tight-fitting face covers that channel out little particles too). The U.S. government as of late changed its proposals, recommending that everyone should wear at least a DIY coronavirus mask when they need to go out.
What we see now has quite some difference to the statement issued just a few days back. Then it was said that not everyone needed a mask. According to the experts, only people who were showing symptoms of the coronavirus or the ones staying close to anybody similar will have to wear a mask. However, according to the new statement issued by the USA Government, wearing a mask is necessary for everyone. Also, if you find that there is a deficiency of masks, you can wear a DIY coronavirus mask.
You can make these from common materials or items that are already present at home. As a result, people have become confused about how to prepare proper masks. Through this article, you can learn how to make a DIY coronavirus mask in different ways. It means that there are various styles of preparing a DIY face mask for example by stitching it or by just folding and more. You can also use different fabrics to prepare face masks or simply fold a bandana to come up with a ready-to-use mask. While quarantine calls for some experiments, this is a great way to put your skills at test.
Why should you wear a DIY coronavirus mask?
While surgical and N95 masks are what you should ideally wear, DIY masks with ordinary materials can also protect you. These masks can work well when you have to go out and are prone to the infection of coronavirus. According to experts, if everyone wears a mask, then the asymptomatic carriers do not find a way to come out and infect others. As a result, the spread of the virus can be prevented to an extent. However, a fact that you must keep in mind is that a DIY coronavirus mask is not at all a substitute for any other measure. So, you must follow all other preventive measures such as washing your hands, maintain a social distance, and of course covering your face and mouth when you are out.
How to make a DIY coronavirus mask?
In this section, you will learn how to make a mask that you can use for basic protection against the coronavirus.
Sitch a mask
Let’s start with the more advanced technique and later move to the easier ones. So, in this variety, you will have to gather materials and do some stitching to get the perfect homemade facemask pattern. Let’s check out.
Materials that you need:
- 2 cloth pieces that should be pure cotton fabric. For example, you can cut pieces from cotton t-shirts, pillowcases, or dish towels. The measurement should be 7 inches x 9 inches.
- 2 fabric pieces that measure about 1.5 x 40 inches to make the strap for the DIY coronavirus mask. (ribbon or a shoelace is a good option for this one.)
- A ruler, sewing machine, pair of scissors, an iron, and a thread
How to do it?
Take the two big rectangular pieces of cloth and sew both together by taking the right ends of the fabrics. It is the side that will allow you to see and should be facing each other. Start sewing and go round till almost the other end of the line, but leave a little gap there. The gap should be left on the longer side.
Transform the square shape right-side-out by venturing into the hole you left open and getting the texture through. Presently your edges are within and you have a flawlessly sewn two-sided square shape. At the hole you left open, simply fold the edges inside, for now, because you’ll sew it shut later.
Start by making three equal-sized creases on each of the 7-inch parts of the cloth. Make sure that all the creases that you create should face the same side. Now, you can fasten the creases using pins. Another way of doing this step is by using pins to measure out the gapping of the creases. Place one pin about 1.5 inches on the downside of the shorter part of the cloth. Then add start adding 1 inch and 1.5 inches alternatively from the end of every crease. Keep doing this till you have utilized all the six pins. When you want to create perfect pleats, you just have to follow another easy step. You have to join the first end with the second, third with the fourth, and the fifth with the sixth. The positions are already marked by the pins. Now you repeat the process on both sides.
Now that you have fastened all the creases with pins to keep them in proper shape, start stitching from one end to the other of the rectangle’s boundary. As a result, all the creases will be sewed properly, along with the gap that you had left while executing Step-1.
In this step, we will work with the fabric strip that we have taken to make our straps. Take the strips and fold them lengthwise into half. Now nicely iron the strips to make sure that you create a proper fold. It will help you while you start stitching later. Now fold in the raw edges and iron them too. Next, you have to match the middle point of the longer side of the mask with that of the center point of the strips. Fasten the points with pins. As you can see that you now have a strip on the bottom as well as the upper part of the mask. Also, there is enough length of the strips that are left loose from both sides of the mask. If you have taken fabric strips, then pin those so that they nicely wrap the edge of the rectangular mask.
Now it is time to sew the straps to the main mask by releasing the pins. So you start stitching from one end of the strap to the other end by catching all the edges as you go further. In case that the straps that you are using do not require folding, you can just stitch the entire perimeter of the mask one more time.
Now that you know how to sew a mask, it is time to learn the easier version which is the no sew face mask. You will be happy to know that making a DIY face mask is so easy and requires almost nothing fancy. So, let’s start the process.
Materials that you need:
- A t-shirt (it is better if you have pure cotton one or any other with a light and breezy fabric)
- A ruler
- Pair of scissors
How to do it?
Start by cutting-off the 7-inches from the bottom of the t-shirt that you have chosen to make the mask.
The cut-out piece of cloth from the t-shirt will be in the form of a double-layered rectangle. Now from this piece of cloth, you have to cut out another piece of 7-inches approximately. The part of the cloth that remains will ultimately be the mask along with the strings.
Now you can figure out what to do so that you get distinct strings. You just have to cut the fabric strips from the center point. Now you have four proper strings. It is time now to put the mask around your face and fasten the strings behind your ears. Don’t worry about the measurements because you can make changes if you want to. If you feel that you must cut out a little more from the fabric so that the mask sits on your face properly, you can do that too. Well, your no sew face mask is ready for use.
Bandana style mask
Easier than the no sew face mask, now will be able to learn the bandana style mask that you can use while going out. It is super easy and requires only two things. Let’s see how you can make it.
Materials that you need
- Square cloth (preferably cotton) or a bandana
- Hair ties- one pair
How to do it?
Lay the cotton cloth or bandana flat on the work surface.
Fold-down the top portion of the bandana till the middle of it
Fold up the bottom portion till the middle to meet the other portion. Now you have a smaller rectangle.
Now flip the bandana and again make two folds as you made in the previous steps.
Again, flip over the bandana and tie one hairband on each side of it. So, you have now divided the horizontal length of the bandana into three parts.
Now fold the edges of the bandana towards the inside so that the hair ties make loops. These are the loops that you will use to fasten it behind your ears.
flip it now and it is ready to use.
What is the proper way of wearing a DIY coronavirus facemask?
When you are wearing a facemask made out of simple cloth, there are a few things that you must remember. The mask should-
- Have a snuggish but comfortable fit against both sides of your face.
- Have ear loops or ties so that it stays intact on your face when you wear it.
- Use more than one layer of whatever fabric you choose.
- Be made in a way that you can breathe easily and without any restrictions
- Be suitable for the machine wash and dry. Also, make sure that it does not change its shape or form after you have cleaned it.
Statement of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is ideal for anybody to wear a DIY coronavirus mask in any public setting. It means a place where maintain social distancing is difficult. For example, pharmacies and grocery stores are places that are crowded by a lot of people. These are also areas that are more prone to transmission from one community to another.
CDC also issued an official statement saying that people who cannot afford surgical or N95 facemasks can surely wear the ones made of simple cloth. The spread of the pandemic and the infection can be slowed down if everyone individually maintains necessary measures. Wearing cloth-based facemasks is an example of voluntary public health action. Also, these are easy to make at home. However, you must know that some people cannot wear facemasks at all. For example, infants below 2 years of age or someone who has a breathing or respiratory issue. Again, if someone is incapacitated or unconscious, you should make sure that they are not wearing any facemasks.
There is another society level benefit of ditching n-95 or surgical masks for a DIY face mask. In this way, you can save more equipment for medical workers and for the people who need more advanced protection. The world has already experienced a deficiency of proper kits because a lot of other people were trying to stock up n-95 and surgical masks unnecessarily.
The following are a few basic measures that you must maintain even if you are wearing a face mask-
- Do not touch the mask with your hands frequently
- You must not uncover your mouth to talk to someone more freely
- If someone coughs or sneezes in front of you, make sure that you do not touch the mask at all.
- Wash your DIY coronavirus facemask every time you come back home.
- Wash and sanitize your hands frequently even if you are wearing masks.
- Try to use regular gloves as well if you have to touch a lot of things when you go out.
The pandemic has brought extremely tough times for us, and we can only overcome this when we become more responsible. Also, we must think about the safety of our families and society as a whole. So, you must wear facial masks and take all preventive measures if you have to go out for some urgent work.