DIY Mask Kit
Includes woven fabric for 4 masks, elastic and 4 twist-ties. Requires a sewing machine or hand-sewing ability. The style of fabric is based on availability. To choose your own fabric, look at our in-stock fabrics.
Sewing the mask using interfacing and a sewing machine:
How to sew a face mask if you do not have a sewing machine:
- What size of elastic should I use? The size we use on the pre-made masks are 8” because we find this is the most comfortable among all the people we have tested it on. It creates a comfortable – but not painfully tight fit over most faces. If you think your face is particularly slim – try tacting the elastic on at 7” or 7.5” (BUT DO NOT CUT IT until you are sure of which size you want). Just tact it on and see how it fits around your ears. If it is too tight, it might be uncomfortable after a while on the ears. Once you measure, then cut.
- What size mask should I cut? If you are making for a child, I would cut a size Small. Otherwise, all adults should be able to wear the size Medium. Instead of making a larger size, try adjusting the elastic. The point is to cover your mouth and nose – you do not need to cover your entire face.
- Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly? Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.
- How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering? You can either handwash the mask and leave for air dry. Or you can throw in the washing machine on the cold cycle and take it out and let it dry on its own.
- How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering? Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing. You can do this by reaching around the ears and grabbing the elastic and pull off one ear, then the other.
- Does it matter what fabric we use for the masks (if making on your own)? Yes, it does matter. If you think about it, you will be breathing in whatever is in that fabric. So this is why the CDC advocates consumers to wear 100% cotton. Please do not use polyester, nylon and other manmade fibers. They are generally made in the same way plastics are made – and part of the issue with this particular coronavirus is that it tends to stick to plastics and stays there for several days. Also, these polymer-based fabrics tend to not breathe – which will build up heat inside the mask making them uncomfortable.
- Can I use my old t-shirts or clothing? Please also consider that if you are donating masks – that a person has to breathe through whatever chemicals and finishes are on that fabric. So please do not use your old t-shirts and used fabric.
- How do I reduce the number of chemicals in a mask? The modern fashion industry uses thousands of chemicals in the finishing of fabrics – so that is why we only use handwoven cotton for our masks. Handwoven fabrics only require dyes and low impact fabric softener.
- Can I use woven interfacing instead of fused? Woven interfacing is just the same as the woven cotton. When you use the fused, it creates a different barrier.
- Do I need to pre-wash my materials? If you are buying material from us or have a DIY kit, then no, we have already washed the material. You do not have to wash the interfacing either. If you are buying fabric from outside, please wash before cutting.
- Where do I get interfacing: Joanne’s, Amazon and other online sewing stores.
- What kind of protection do 100% cotton masks provide? According to the CDC, the best substitute for a medical mask is actually something made with similar materials – such as a vacuum cleaner bag. These fused materials are hard to penetrate and therefore, offer the most protection. The problem is wearing a vacuum cleaner bag around your face is extremely uncomfortable. Using just woven cotton is 83% protection. In addition to the cotton, we add an additional layer of Pellon interfacing – which is a non-woven material that is similar to the material used in medical masks. By combining the woven cotton and non-woven, we create a mask that can be washed and used multiple times.
- Where did we get our pattern and ideas about masks? We followed the CDC guidelines. Here is what they are now recommending for consumer masks. I think we tick all the boxes:
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.