Fabric For Face Masks

Everyone has had to get used to this new normal and living each day following the rules laid out by the government.

As part of preventing the spread of the virus, from the 24th July, the UK government is making face masks compulsory in shops and supermarkets. Because of this, it’s undeniable that the demand for masks will increase. 

However, before you reach for a disposable medical-grade mask, why not consider making face masks yourself at home? Not only are these reusable face coverings more environmentally-friendly, but they are washable!

A creative way of protecting yourself and others around you, you can make these face masks with whatever style of fabric you want! Giving you the freedom to express your personality in this unprecedented time, it’s not only safe but a fashion statement. 

To keep up with this demand in lockdown, we have a huge stock of fabric available that’s ideal to create face masks with.

Woman hands using the sewing machine to sew the face medical mask during the coronavirus pandemia. Home made diy protective mask against virus.

What’s the Best Fabric for Face Masks?

You want your mask to keep you as safe as possible and for the material to effectively lower the transmission. So what fabric should you use to create your washable face coverings? According to research conducted by the CDC, tightly woven cotton or twill, quilted cotton or natural silk are all suitable materials. 

How to Make Face Masks

Luckily, creating face masks is quick and easy! Something that everyone can do, you’ll only need a handful of materials. These include:

  • Suitable fabric (2 x 25cm squares) 
  • A tape measure
  • Fabric scissors
  • Flat elastic (20cm)
  • A needle and thread

Once you have 2 x 25cm squares of fabric, all you’ll have to do is stack them on top of each other. Then, fold over one side of the top fabric (by approximately 0.75cm) and repeat the action on the other side before hemming them. Turn the fabric vertically, before folding over the two other sides by 1.5cm. 

When this is complete, stitch the sides down. In the sides that you’ve folded and stitched down, run the elastic through the material – these will act as ear loops when it comes to wearing them. You can then tie the elastic before putting the knots inside of the helm.

Another method to create face masks can be found on our recent blog post here

How to Wash Face Masks

Face masks can either be cleaned in the washing machine or by hand – the method that you choose is up to you. 

In the washing machine:

  • Ensure that the washing machine is at a temperature that’s suitable for the fabric you’ve chosen to create the face mask out of – for example, with cotton this is usually 60°C.
  • You can use the washing detergent that you regularly use and place the mask in with the rest of your clothes. 

By Hand

The CDC recommends creating a bleach solution that will effectively remove any droplets. Within this, you should use:

  • 5 tablespoons of bleach per litre of water. 
  • Soak the face mask in this solution for 5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with cold/room temperature water.

Make sure that the bleach you’re using is safe for this purpose and is within date. 

Tips For How to Correctly Wear Face Masks

To ensure that your face mask is effective, there are certain steps you should take. Here are some useful tips you can use to guarantee you’re wearing it correctly:

  • Wash your hands before fitting your face mask.
  • Put the elastic around your ears and adjust it on your face so that it covers your nose and mouth tightly.
  • Ensure that you can still breathe easily.
 
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