With some countries beginning to ease the lockdowns resulting from the global coronavirus pandemic, many of us are looking for face coverings and masks to wear as we return to work or visit public spaces. To ensure that there are enough masks for those who need them most, instead of buying a bland medical-looking mask, DIY masks are a great option. Here's a guide to what to consider when making your own face mask:
Things to think about when making a face mask
As the mask with be touching your skin for potentially several hours, you want a fabric that allows the skin to breathe. Man-made fibres will be sweaty and hot, so opt for natural fabrics like linen and cotton. Linen is particularly great thanks to its inherent temperature-regulating properties and its ability to wick away moisture from the skin. You could repurpose old household linens that have come to the end of their use, or buy some linen fabric. We have a wide range of colors so you can create a mask that looks stylish as well as being practical.
There are plenty of patterns out there for making a DIY mask, but just make sure you choose one that allows the fabric to fully cover both your nose and chin. Some people who wear glasses have had trouble with their glasses steaming up, but a well-fitting mask shouldn't have big gaps at the top. The side straps or bands should be tight enough to keep the mask in place if you cough, but not so tight that they are uncomfortable.
How to wear
With differing official guidelines from governments this may depend on where you live. The WHO guidance on when to wear a mask can be found here. Many people are wearing their masks whenever they leave the house, whilst others are just wearing them on public transport or in shops. There may be upcoming rules that everyone has to wear them on transport or at work, so it's a good idea to get or make your mask in time for any restrictions.
Caring for and cleaning your mask
Our linen masks can be machine washed at 90 degrees. Regular washing will keep the mask fresh and may help prevent bacteria building up. Hanging your mask outside in the sun will harness the sun's natural bleaching properties, or you can tumble dry if all the mask elements can withstand it. Remember, these are not surgical protective equipment so you should still take all the other protective measures, like frequent hand washing and social distancing.
If you don't want to make your own mask, we are giving away a free linen face mask with every order from LinenMe. We have been busy over the past few weeks, and our expert craftspeople and designers have created masks that look good as well as being comfortable to wear. Whilst these don't replace medical masks, scientists have advised that they can help stop us spreading the virus, especially if we cough or sneeze.
We hope you stay safe and well. If you need some inspirational reading material in lockdown, check out our book club posts, or if you're focussing on sorting out all those decorating jobs that you've never had time for, then go here for tips on decorating with linen. And if all you can do is get through the day achieving the bare essentials, that's fine too. Go easy on yourself.