Today, we are witnessing the world’s significant economies suffer a serious lockdown, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Also known as the Coronavirus, COVID-19 started spreading throughout the globe at a staggering pace. Owing to its seriousness, the virus had to be declared a global pandemic. To prevent the spread of the virus, people have been advised to wear masks along with opting for social distancing. Since some of these masks are non-reusable and can be used only for a span of 8 to 10 hours, it is advisable to use a reusable mask.
Face masks won’t just come in handy during this pandemic, but even in our day to day lives. The air quality in the metropolitan areas is continually decreasing with residual dust from chemical industries, traffic and construction, polluting our air with toxins, raising the risks of several diseases.
An anti-pollution face mask acts as a filter as it does not let any small toxic particles enter your respiratory system and clear the ambient air for you. There are various types of face masks, including the non-allergy mask or the three-ply mask; the N95 or KN95 are certified as the best anti-pollution masks, used all over the world. With the shortage of masks in many countries and the need to save some for medical professionals, the World Health Organisation has advised using reusable cloth masks. As we all are at home for a few more weeks, you have all the time to DIY a face mask for you and your family.
Here are some easy ways to make your safety masks with materials that are readily available at home.
No-Sew Face Mask
Things to Use: 2 Elastic hair bands or Rubber bands, Fabric Glue, Tightly Knitted Cotton Bandana, Handkerchief or Dupatta.
- Take the bandana or handkerchief and lay it down vertically. Fold the upper and bottom corners inwards to the centre and make equal folds. Repeat this step one more time to get four equal folds from both sides.
- Put the hair elastic bands around the folded piece and scooch them towards the centre. At this point, the folded cloth with the hair bands will ideally look like a giant wrapped candy.
- For both the loose ends, straighten up the cloth and fold the ends inwards for about half an inch and flip the ends on the other side of the band. Tuck it inside the little pocket that is formed.
- For the final touch, you can sew the open pocket or stick it with some fabric glue.
Two-ply T-Shirt Mask
Things to Use: 2 Elastic bands or lace, Glue Gun or a Sewing Machine, an old 100% cotton T-shirt, cut into two small rectangles of width of 6.5 inches and height of 4 inches each.
Tip: You can also use a graphic T-shirt with a cute print on it, as the mask will look quite funky.
- To determine if the fabric of the T-shirt is suitable for a mask, you must check if the threads are tightly knitted or not. For understanding this, you can simply hold the fabric close to bright light and check if the light passes through or not. Choose the material that does not allow light to pass through.
- Keep the rectangles on top with the printed part, facing each other and sew or stick the top and bottom width of the rectangle. Now that you have a cylindrical fabric structure pull it out so that print is shown with the rough edges going in.
- For the other two open corners of the rectangle, fold them inside and sew or stick the sides, creating a loop so an elastic or lace can pass through it.
- And now, all you need is just a piece of an elastic band or a lace that is available at home. Cut it as per the size of your face, pass it through the loop and tie a tight knot. And there you have it!
Filter Pocket Mask
Things to Use: A piece of fabric, lining fabric, yarn, needle and thread or a sewing machine and some clips(to hold the fabric in place).
Tip: The best material to design this mask is polypropylene, used in air filters. Polypropylene can be easily found in reusable cloth bags that can be used as the lining fabric.
- Cut the fabric in a square measuring 7inches in width and 8 inches in height. For the inner lining, cut small pieces of the cloth bag into two small squares, each measuring 5 inches in width and 4 inches in height.
- Lay the two pieces down on a flat surface, arranging them in line with the upper fabric in the centre. Sew the ends of all the pieces to join and form a long length fabric and sew the raw ends to form a polished hem on the lining cloth.
- Fold the two pieces inwards above the main fabric to form one giant rectangle. Straighten up the fabric and iron it so that no wrinkles are visible.
- Pinch and fold the cloth, leaving 1 cm of the fabric above the fabric as a layer. Make three such folds and add a clip so that it stays steady. Iron the cloth once more so that it remains intact.
- Fold the sides of the height inwards and sew them to form a loop. You can use any yarn or tiny pipes that can be made from the remaining fabric and pass them through the loop and tie a knot.
To check if your mask is good enough to use when you step out, you can use this trick. Take a lit candle and try to blow it off wearing the DIY mask. If you can do it successfully, then you might need to use a thicker cloth for the mask as we don’t want to breathe in any bacterias or dust particles that are present in the air.
Hope you guys found these DIYs helpful and can make a safety mask at home to protect yourself during the lockdown.