Cloth Masks - Sewing Tips
There are many people starting to make cloth masks to donate! I've been gathering up information the past couple days and here's some tips I've learned. This is being updated several times a day, and there will be a pattern added soon.
These masks are meant to help prevent asymptomatic people from spreading the virus - they are not designed to keep you from catching it!! Masks with respirators are the only masks that will keep you from inhaling the virus.
1) Use cotton thread and cotton fabric so that they can be autoclaved/microwaved (polyester will melt)
2) If you're using flannel only use one layer of it, make the other layer a lighter weight fabric. Two layers of flannel is too hard to breathe through.
3) Make them with two layers of fabric with a pocket for adding filtration if desired. A pocket at the top is the easiest to add filtration to. Do not sew the filter material into the mask. YouTube Pattern CraftPassion Pattern We can sew it pattern.
4) Add a line of stitching or a casing at the top so that they can insert a nose wire. Don't use standard paper twist ties (unless removable) because the paper will dissolve in the wash and the metal will rust. Get some plastic twist ties instead, or use metals that will not rust. I have ordered these: Weststone 100pcs Plastic Clear Twist Ties they can be cut in half for a 3.5" nose strip. Include the nose wire but make it removable - some hospitals are not accepting masks with the wire.
5) Use light colored fabrics so they can see when they're soiled.
6) Wash + dry fabrics before making them, so that it shrinks.
7) Do not try on masks that are going to be donated.
8) Fold edges twice so that there are no raw edges that will fray.
9) Cotton ties (bias tape / spaghetti straps) are generally better than elastic as elastic won't hold up to the severe heat needed to sanitize them. Note: most twill tape is polyester now. Pattern pictured. HK Mask with ties.
10) Use new fabric only. Don't use vintage materials, especially old thread as it will break.
What you can add to the pocket: