Who would have thought that we’d be in this situation where we need patterns and instructions on how to make our own face masks? We’ve tested some patterns, read a lot of different posts and come up with the patterns and directions we believe are the easiest. Here is how I make a fitted face mask. Check out how to make a pleated face mask, too.
Elastic uncomfortable around your ears? Here’s how to make a button band for face masks.
When choosing fabric for making face masks, remember that the denser the weave, the greater the protection. In the world of quilting fabrics, batiks are among the tightest weaves, usually 180 to 200 threads per inch. And they come in a wide array of colors and patterns so they please different wearers.
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So really, your quilting stash is for the good of humanity:
If you are lucky enough to know a quilter, ask them to make you a mask. Tests performed at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., showed good results for homemade masks using quilting fabric. Dr. Segal, of Wake Forest Baptist Health, who led the study, noted that quilters tend to use high-quality, high-thread count cotton. The best homemade masks in his study were as good as surgical masks or slightly better, testing in the range of 70 to 79 percent filtration. Homemade masks that used flimsier fabric tested as low as 1 percent filtration, Dr. Segal said.The New York Times, What’s the Best Material for a Mask? April 5, 2020
Guidelines change as we learn more about the virus and its transmissibility, so always check with health care experts for the latest recommendations for face masks!
You may want something softer for the layer that will be in contact with your skin – so softer cottons and flannels are good choices. There is a range of quality in the marketplace, so be sure to look for the densest weaves you can find, even in the softer fabrics.
Prewash your fabrics to remove sizing and manufacturing chemicals. Because you don’t want to inhale those!
For an added layer of protection, you can add an inner lining. Medical grade linings can be in short supply, but adding another layer of batik or other high thread count fabric can help. The ShirTailor interfacing used here is breathable and holds up well to repeated washings. But you can use a lighter non-woven interfacing if you prefer.
This is the basic pattern I used from Craft Passion, but I put it together a bit differently. I do like that it comes in a variety of sizes.
Browse through our other face mask posts for accessories and other tips and tricks.