^ click links above for the Quick Mask Pattern and Instructions for Mask Users ^
I was asked to make masks to be worn by community volunteers in Waterbeach who are helping vulnerable people during the current Covid-19 pandemic. I read lots of research about the use of masks, then trialled many of the mask patterns currently available on the internet. I found many were complicated and time-consuming to make. Therefore I designed my own quick and easy pattern to incorporate the features I think may be important. However, I am NOT a medical professional and make no claims or guarantees about the effectiveness of masks made using this pattern. It is imperative to maintain proper handwashing and social distancing while wearing any mask, including this one.
Waterbeach Mutual Covid-19 Support Group recently asked for people to make cloth face masks for their volunteers. Whilst these are certainly NOT medical N95 standard, (N95 and surgical masks are all needed by medical professionals) and there is little evidence at the moment regarding protection for the wearer, there is some evidence they may offer a little extra protection to people around the wearer as they will catch some of the droplets when the wearer coughs or sneezes. Thus it makes sense for volunteers to wear masks to decrease the risk of infecting the vulnerable people they are so kindly supporting.
It is, of course, IMPERATIVE to continue frequent and proper handwashing and maintain social distancing even when wearing a mask. I researched the patterns and materials currently available on the internet and came to the conclusion that many of the patterns were unnecessarily time consuming and complicated to make. I also found references to the main features which are important in mask making, namely: safe and comfortable for the wearer; easy to breathe through; securely held on the wearer’s face to prevent the wearer keep readjusting, (touching hands to face and cross-contaminating); a wire nose bridge to help make a snug fit over the nose; a pocket for an optional extra filer layer (research into effective filters is ongoing); adaptable for head ties or ear loops and, most importantly – able to be washed in hot, soapy water, tumbled dried and/or steam ironed.
Based on my research, I have designed a quick and easy pattern for making a cloth mask. I’m happy to share it with anyone who would like a copy.
I know the photos aren’t wonderful (done quickly in poor light) but if you have any other constructive criticism on either the pattern or the finished mask (if you make one) I’d be grateful. I’ve done this quickly so I’m keen to hear about any mistakes, omissions or issues with clarity!
Further info on current research and other mask-related information may be found here:
- Testing the Efficacy of Homemade masks
- How to Make Homemade masks
- DIY Masks – collaborative literature review
- Criteria for Accepting Masks etc