How to make a mask?

Things you should know before you start making a mask for others

Here’s a checklist of things to follow for anyone who is about to make a mask for others. 

1- Do not make a mask for others if you’re infected or showing symptoms

2- Always wash your hands and the cloth for mask, properly with soap before starting to sew.

3- Wash the masks with soap and water after finishing. Store them in envelop, box or paper bags etc and do not touch them again in order to keep them free from germs. 

Things you will need to make a handmade surgical mask

Item 1- 100% Cotton Fabric 20cm X 40cm (width X Height) – Old cotton shirt, pillow cases, bed-sheets etc 

Item 2- Four strips of fabric 5cm X 30cm – These will act as mask fasteners OR

Item 2- Two strips of elastics of (20cm for large, 17.5cm for medium and 15cm for small) size depending upon the size of the mask that you want to make. 

Item 3- Sewing Threads & Needle: This is optional, you’ll need it if you’re sewing by hand.

Item 4- Bobby Pins: 6 pins to hold the pleats of the fabric while sewing.

Item 5- Sewing Machine: It is optional. It is faster to sew on a sewing machine, but it is not a must.

Item 6- Iron & Ironing Board: It is optional, it makes sewing easier though, but masks can be made without it

Steps to follow

Step 1– Keep the fabric (Item 1) flat on a table, smaller side (20cm) closer to yourself.

Step 2Fold the fabric (Item 1) into half, resulting in a square of 20cm X 20cm. Insert 2 pins hold the folded fabric in place.

Step 3– On the edge opposite to the folded edge, put two marks A & B. A at 7.5cm and B at 12.5 cm.  

Step 4– Now take the strips (Item 2), one at a time. Fold the strip into half, along the longer side and iron it to create a crease line running along its length. 

Step 5– Open the fold created in Step 4 and fold both the long edges of the fabric strip inwards to meet the at crease line (created in Step 4). Iron over the folded edges.

Step 6– Fold the fabric from Step 5 once again along the crease line created in Step 4. Iron over the newly folded strip of fabric. Stitch over this triple folded strip of fabric.  

Step 7– Repeat the steps from 4 to 6 with the other three strips (Item 2) as well and all 4 mask fasteners will be ready.

Step 8– Now take the folded fabric from Step 3. Place the fasteners(from steps 6 & 7), between the two layers of the folded fabric, in such a way that only one small edge of each fastener stitches when you stitch the folded fabric. 

Step 9– Start sewing around the edges of the folded fabric keeping a seam allowance of 0.5 cm. Do not stitch between the marks A and B. Do not stitch anything but only one small edge of each fastener with the corresponding corner of the folded fabric.

Step 10– Pull out the mask through the slit AB created in Step 9. At this stage you should have a square fabric with four fasteners at each corner.

Step 11– Place the mask in Step 10 way flat on the table in such a way that the edge with slit AB is closest to you. This slit would help the wearer put any extra filtering material if they want to.

 Step 12– Now make a 1.5cm horizontal pleat at the center of the mask from Step 11. Secure it with Bobby pins on either end. Add two more similar pleats, one above and the other below the existing pleat.

Step 13– Take the mask from Step 12 and sew the pleats together.

Step 14– Wash the mask and  iron it with washed hands on a clean surface.

Check out the explanatory video below

*This is not the only way to make a mask, but one which we follow and recommend. The resultant mask offers greater coverage going upto the wearer's chin and offers the possibility to adjust the size due to fabric fasteners instead of elastic.