There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about the use of homemade face masks in preventing the spread of Covid-19.

The WHO say there is no evidence that a mask can prevent a healthy person from contracting Coronavirus. However, Americans have recently been advised to wear a cloth face covering in social situations, especially where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Research has shown that a homemade mask, though three times less effective than a surgical mask, significantly reduces the number of microorganisms expelled by the wearer. Though not a protection against contracting the virus, it can still be helpful in preventing it from spreading, by protecting the people around you if you accidentally cough, sneeze or breathe out droplets carrying the virus.

So facemasks are not a replacement for social distancing, but if you’re unable to distance due to the nature of your work or other responsibilities, we figure that it’s better to wear a one than not.

We’ve recently been making some masks for keyworkers in this situation – all from reclaimed textiles of course!

Having tried out a few different styles, this (below) is one of our favourites. It’s washable and reusable (obvs a key consideration for us), it’s a nice simple shape to sew and it can be sewn with an opening to insert a filter for extra protection. You can also add a pipe cleaner across the nose for a more snug fit.

We’re testing filter options at the moment, including hoover bags (shown here to have 94% filtration efficiency) and air conditioning filters. We’ll let you know how that goes!

Sarah has drawn up a pattern for the mask which you can download here if you fancy having a go at making some yourself. The pattern is free, but if you’d like to make a donation, you can do so here.

It includes written instructions, but we might add a video tutorial soon too – let us know if you’d find that useful.

UPDATE: Watch our step-by-step video tutorial on Youtube.

Happy mask making all!
Stay safe

Stitched Up x