JOANN Stores I purchased most of my material from Joann Fabrics!
If you, like me are a hobby sewist with scrap cotton fabric laying around, in various sizes that are not good for much but quilt squares or doll clothes, you are probably making your own cloth masks to wear around in the is time of coronavirus. If not you probably should! Here, I’ll share what I have made and the tips and tricks I’ve learned so far.
How many do I need?
So you make one cloth mask for yourself and you’re done right? Wrong. Maybe you are still working in real life in a place with other people, maybe you are not ordering all of everything online and you need to go to a store. (I’m not a doctor or a medical professional so take my advice as you see fit) You will want to wash your cloth mask after every day that you use it. That means unless you want to worry about washing and drying your mask daily if that’s how often you go out than you will probably want at least a couple to rotate through.
Cloth masks for who?
Who is wearing cloth masks out and about these days you ask? Pretty much everyone, as they should be! The benefits of a cloth mask for people not in high risk areas like health care is, that you can use them indefinitely and you can make as many as you like in different styles and prints. The ability to customize fit is also key to enhancing the level of protection. Having a close fitting mask that has few air gaps around the sides increased the amount of filtration that is happening. Also, being able to size down any style for a child is great. NOTE: young children under 3 years should not wear masks to avoid accidental suffocation.
Cloth Mask Materials…
I’ve joined a local group making cloth masks to donate to hospitals for workers to use in addition to high grade N95 or surgical masks to lengthen use of the certified masks. The recommendation we have been given is to use 100% cotton for a double layer mask. The cotton compatible with high temperature sterilization.
I’ve also researched what materials are good filter materials. The filter layer of the N95 mask is made from non-woven melt blown polypropylene fabric. Other things are made from this material such as multi use disposable shop rags, I have used these as an insert able filter for the pocket I build in to the masks I make. Another material that can be used a filter is non iron on interfacing. I plan to make my next batch with Pellon 830 sewn in. Pellon is washable since it is meant to be permanently sewn in to garments.
As far as ties, that is more of a personal preference. If you are not wearing a mask all day the elastic ear loops are the easiest I think, but for prolonged wear can get uncomfortable and you may want to do longer elastic to go around the head or fabric ties to go around the head.
Now for the Styles!
I’ve made two different styles, the pleated rectangle shaped on like the surgical mask you can by in the store and then the more fitted mask that many cloth masks you see people making on their own. There are pros and cons to both styles. The pleated cloth mask is a more universal fit, and can be wore by any sized adult. The craft passion pattern I have also made is sized for different size faces.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more sewing posts and videos!