COVID-19: How to make a protective face mask yourself

Today, the most popular products in the world are personal protective equipment-hand antiseptics, disposable gloves and protective face masks. So it is not surprising that these products have disappeared from pharmacies and stores. Meanwhile, in some countries, you can not go outside without a protective mask – this is fraught with a fine and even arrest. In addition, you can not do without a mask if you are sick yourself or care for a sick person. But where to get masks if you can’t buy them in pharmacies and stores? Fortunately, nature has given us hands that we can use to sew ourselves-or just make a protective mask-as I did. Of course, this mask is not intended for use in a medical facility, but it will be effective if you are caring for a patient or are in a public place.

  1. Do I need to wear masks during coronavirus?
  2. What problems can you face?
  3. How to make a mask without a needle with thread and a sewing machine?
  4. How to sew a mask with your own hands?

Do I need to wear masks during coronavirus?
Yes. But first let’s be clear: masks, no matter how effective they are, do not guarantee 100% protection from CVID-19. According to the recommendation of the world health organization (who), the most effective way to avoid Contracting SARS-CoV-2 is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and observe social distance. Of course, in an ideal world, everyone would have enough protective masks to prevent the spread of the virus. However, reality paints a slightly different picture and masks are not enough for everyone. According to the Verge, on April 3, the Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) in the United States issued recommendations – from now on, all citizens must wear protective masks, not just those who have symptoms.

Simple fabric masks prevent the spread of the virus – so, people who do not know that they are infected, wearing a homemade mask will not infect others. As the results of a new study have shown, people without symptoms can infect others, and the virus can spread while we talk or breathe. Let me remind you that previously it was believed that the coronavirus is spread by droplets when a person sneezes or coughs. I hope that the Ministry of health of the Russian Federation will also soon recommend that citizens wear fabric face masks in public places. And to better understand how protective masks differ from each other and which of them are most effective, we have prepared an article for you.

However, you may need a tissue mask at home if you are forced to take care of a sick person or have become infected yourself and are worried about the health of your loved ones. It is best if you have two masks instead of one, so that you can wear one mask while the second one is being sterilized. This article is a simple cheat sheet that will hopefully help you make a mask with your own hands. And if the house ran out of alcohol antiseptic for hands, then my colleague Artem Sutyagin in his article described in detail how to make an antiseptic at home.

What problems can you face?

Agree, in life there are different situations and sometimes such banal, it would seem, things like a needle and thread may just not be at hand. This is exactly the situation I found myself in today: where the needles that I definitely bought went is a mystery, but there was an abundance of thread. A small hand-held sewing machine came to the rescue, which had been waiting for its finest hour for about six months. I don’t know if it’s my problem or the typewriter, but two and a half hours later, the typewriter and the damaged piece of fabric were left lying in a corner, and my hatred of needlework reached its peak. However, even if you do not have a needle and thread at hand, or you, like me, are clumsy, do not despair, because the mask can be made without them.

How to make a mask without a needle with thread and a sewing machine?
In order to make a mask from directly available tools, you will need:

  • Fabric (it is best to take a small cotton or synthetic handkerchief)

  • Elastic band (you can use elastic bands for hair)

  • Important! This homemade mask is not intended for use by medical personnel in hospitals and it is certainly worse than a fabric mask that can be sewn, as it may not fit completely to the face. However, if you need to go to a store or pharmacy where there may be a lot of people or help a sick person, even such a simple mask is better than a complete lack of protection.

    To make the simplest mask, I took a small cotton handkerchief and folded it in half several times.

    Then you need to put an elastic band on each edge of the handkerchief (a hair band will do) – I had a piece of ordinary gray elastic that can be pulled up to the desired size – and carefully fold both edges of the handkerchief into each other, so that both elastic bands on each side can be pulled up.

    Of course, this mask does not fit too tightly to the face, so it is better to find a needle and thread and sew the mask. And if you have a sewing machine at home, then there should be no problems.

    How to sew a mask with your own hands?
    Despite the growing debate about whether cotton or linen is the best fabric to use for making a mask, there is actually no evidence that these fabrics are better or worse than others. Therefore, the fabric that you have at hand is quite suitable.

    So, you will need:

    Once the desired fabric is selected, cut a piece of it measuring 36 cm by 20 cm and fold it in half. Then make three folds so that the mask can be folded and then unfolded. The folds themselves should be about a couple of centimeters wide. Each fold then needs to be ironed well. When all the folds are smoothed, open the folds and put a small piece of elastic band on each edge of the mask (the elastic band should be slightly longer in width than the mask). After that, fold the mask again along the lines already smoothed and sew the side edges with a needle and thread or on a sewing machine. And to make it easier for you, watch the video below:

    If there is no elastic band, it is quite possible to use a ribbon, ribbon or a thick rope instead. The main condition is that the mask should fit snugly to the face.