Responding to customer queries we wanted to share with all customers advice on making homemade surgical style facemasks.
Many crafters are using the time in lockdown to sew and assemble masks out of spare and recycled fabric, elastic and other materials.
Experts advise, however, that while the homemade alternatives can create a loose-fitting barrier that may mitigate the spread of some germs, they are not designed to block the spread of COVID-19, the official name of the pandemic that has swept the globe.
Homemade masks many are sewing, rather, resemble loose-fitting surgical masks, also known as facemasks, that do not meet the N95 standards. N95 masks are tight-fitting masks that filter out at least 95% of small and large airborne particles, according to the CDC.
“The role of facemasks is for patient source control, to prevent contamination of the surrounding area when a person coughs or sneezes,” the CDC said on its website. “Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should wear a facemask until they are isolated in a hospital or at home. The patient does not need to wear a facemask while isolated.”
Below we have provided links to some great tutorials for creating your own facemask. Most people have many off-cuts of fabric which they can use and if you need elastic then our range is available here.
1. Cut the fabric.
For an adult size mask, cut 1 fabric rectangle 400mm long and 210mm wide. Then, cut 2 pieces of elastic, each 180mm long. For a child-size mask, cut 1 fabric rectangle 340mm long and 170mm wide. Then, cut 2 pieces of elastic, each 150mm long.
2.Sew the top side, with pocket
Fold the fabric in half, with the right sides facing each other.
Sew along the 210mm width edge, using a 10mm seam allowance. Leave a 50mm opening in the centre of this seam to create an opening for the filter pocket, and to allow the mask to be turned right side out after sewing.
Optionally, topstitch: Press the seam open. Turn the mask right side out, and topstitch along both sides of the seam for a neater edge. Turn the mask wrong side out.
Pin one piece of elastic to the top and bottom of the short side of the fabric rectangle to create an ear loop. Place the elastic 10mm from the top and bottom edge of the fabric. Repeat this process on the opposite side.
4.Sew the Sides
Sew the sides of the facemask. Backstitch over the elastic to secure it. Turn the mask right side out and press with an iron.
5. Sew the Pleats
Create three evenly spaced 10mm pleats. Pin the folds in place, and sew along the sides. Making sure all pleats are facing the same direction.
Note: When the mask is worn, the pleats should open downwards to prevent any particles from collecting in the fold pockets.