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Home / Accessories

Bandanas and scarves as DIY face masks

 You can easily make your mask at home even with no sewing skills (Photo: Shutterstock)

When the coronavirus was officially declared a global pandemic, there was a lot of confusion around masks. We were all wondering which one to wear and what we can do to prevent ourselves from getting sick. 

We know of the N95 masks, surgical masks and the DIY homemade masks made from scarves and bandanas. Many people have settled on homemade masks because they’re reusable, easy to make and more cost friendly as compared to other masks especially since we are living in tough economic times.

Here is all you need to know. 

You can easily make your mask at home even with no sewing skills. However, you need to make sure you have the right materials for this DIY project.

The mask needs to be thick enough so you might need to do a double or triple layer. Most scarves and bandanas are usually very thin and that can transfer droplets directly to your face or expel droplets into the air if you’re carrying the virus. You also need to have one that’s not too big or too small because it won’t fit correctly.

The type of materials matters as well. The outermost material should be something that’s a bit liquid resistant like a cotton-nylon blend. Then, you should cut a piece of reusable grocery bag for the second layer then add a third cotton layer to absorb moisture. This will mimic the safer masks perfectly.

To secure them get two or four hair ties or bands that are strong enough. If you don’t have those, get some rubber bands.

 The mask needs to be thick enough so you might need to do a double or triple layer (Photo: Shutterstock)

The quickest, most famous way of making your mask is the folding and securing method. Start by laying the bandana or scarf in a rectangular (or square) shape on a flat surface. The outer layer, which is the water repelling side should be facing downwards, followed by the reusable bag material then a cotton layer.

Fold the end closest to you towards the center and repeat the same on the side away from you until they meet at the center.

If there is still more fabric, repeat the same process.

Take your ties and loop them through each end. Adjust them properly as you fold the extra fabric on both ends to meet at the center.

Once you’ve folded, secure the ties by placing your hand where the fold is and gently pull each tie on both sides.

Lift the mask carefully and wrap the ties behind your ears for a test run. If you’re not comfortable, make a few adjustments or try the same process with a different scarf or bandana.

These types of masks have become popular but how effective are they? There are many concerns because many lack some of the most crucial layers found in the proper masks.

Some materials absorb and let out droplets, which further increases the rate at which the virus spreads. Others don’t even fit right around the nose and mouth, letting in droplets.

These masks certainly aren’t trying to compete with the top list of masks the have been recommended. But, the fact is that they’re better than nothing. You can increase their effectiveness by choosing the right fabrics, the right size so that its able to cover your nose and mouth properly and add a few extra protective layers like the filter. You should even go a step further and stitch the edges together so that nothing moves out of place.

The truth is that no mask is 100% perfect. These might not be the best but they reduce the spread as compared to someone who isn’t wearing any mask.

You can increase effectiveness by social distancing and regular washing and sanitizing.

What could you talk for 30 minutes about with absolutely no preparation?
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