(AND WHERE TO BUY THEM)
Fabric: Cotton or cotton blend fabrics are the best choices with which to create face masks. A double layer cotton or cotton blend mask will capture 50% of 0.02-1 micron particles (COVID-19 particles are approximately 0.125 microns). Dish towel fabric has also proven effective in capturing particles, but keep in mind that cotton has better breathability.
PLEASE NOTE: You may include a layer of interfacing to act as a filter between the two cotton layers, however, keep in mind that this may decrease the breathability of the mask. It is important to understand that homemade masks are NOT intended to replace surgical or N95 masks needed by healthcare professionals who are in close contact with the virus, but to supplement the need for them among people in well-patient hospital wards and workers who are exposed to the public, such as grocery store employees and caretakers in assisted living facilities. For this reason, extended use should be the goal of DIY masks, meaning that masks that are more difficult to breathe through will be less effective overall. Cotton masks without filters are able to be worn and remain effective for 3 hours or longer, making them the ideal material with which to create your masks.
Elastic: Elastic loops to go around the wearer’s ears are ideal for masks intended for repeated use. Thinner elastic (¼ inch-½ inch) stays in place over the wearer’s ears the most easily, but other elastic widths can be used instead.
Thread: Cotton thread is best; it is durable and will not stretch.
Masks are made most easily with a sewing machine, but can be hand-sewn as well. If you are hand-sewing, a back stitch will be the most durable stitch you can use.
Please be sure to launder the masks on high heat before sending them to Rose Costumes, because a cotton or cotton blend fabric will shrink upon being washed.
Where to Acquire Materials while Social Distancing
Thread, sewing machine accessories, interfacing, needles, threaders: cleanersupply.com
Fabrics, elastic, sewing machine accessories, thread, scissors: homesew.com
Fabrics, elastic, interfacing, thread, needles: fabric.com
Nose pieces are being donated by SMART, and can be ordered through their Request Form.
MASK MAKING KITS
Rose Costumes is now producing Mask Making Kits for volunteers to pick up, assemble, and return to us for distribution.
Please download our Mask Making Kit Guide for instructions.
care and storage of masks
For details about cleaning, storage, and care of fabric masks, please download our Mask Care Instructions.