After trudging through 2020, the use of face masks has sparked an ongoing debate on whether face masks are necessary. However, medical professionals and scientists alike have utilized face masks to reduce transmitting disease through the air for thousands of years.
Although many professionals wear medical-grade masks, a homemade mask is just as effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases. If you’re looking to create your own masks for your business, you’ll need to know how to choose the right size elastic for face masks.
People have worn face masks since the early 6th century B.C. on Persian tombs, although many people still don’t know why they wore face masks. In the 13th century, during the Yuan Dynasty, servants wore face masks made of silk scarves to avoid contaminating the emperor’s food with their breath.
Face masks began to develop a purpose for preventing the spread of disease in the 14th century when the Black Death spread across Europe, which took the lives of approximately 20 million people.
Charles De Lorme, a French physician, constructed the interesting and possibly creepy-looking “plague prevention costume.” This costume covered the person from head to toe with a hat, a face mask with glass eye holes, a beak to breathe through—typically scented with perfume and herbs—a long gown, and boots. This costume was worn by many doctors tending to the sick at that time.
Fast forward to more recent times, during the late Quin Dynasty, a Chinese medical scientist, Wu Lien-Teh, invented the “Wu’s mask” that was essentially two layers of gauze that closely resembles the medical masks we see today.
As time went on and more epidemics surfaced around the world, face masks became critical in preventing the spread of diseases. Today, more than half of the American population wear face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Face masks are an essential part of maintaining a healthy immune system, but they may also contribute to the earth’s pollution. Since the beginning of COVID-19, we have seen an increase in medical waste by up to 7,200 tons, most of it from disposable masks.
There are many benefits of wearing a homemade face mask but reducing the pollution on our planet is one of the most impactful reasons. Many people can wear, wash, and reuse their homemade masks while still preventing the spread of germs.
However, sewing a homemade mask is tricky if you’re not sure where to start. Hand-sewn face masks require different elastics, sewing methods, and elastic sizes. But we’re here to help you make your own face mask with ease!
There are three types of elastic with different purposes. Some elastics include knitted, woven, and braided. To create a face mask that will protect your customers from COVID-19, you may find it beneficial to use a knitted elastic because it maintains its material when stretched.
When picking a fabric for your face mask, you’ll want to ensure that you’re choosing a fabric that will effectively filter droplets and aerosols. To create a secure mask, try to avoid using a thin fabric such as a neck fleece, scarf, or a knitted mask.
A face mask made of 100 percent cotton or cotton blends will provide the most protection. You can find cotton fabric at any craft store. Most stores will offer various unique and colorful patterns to appeal to a more extensive customer base.
People of any age can wear face masks, ranging from children to adults. However, it’s essential to measure elastic sizes as accurately as possible to ensure a proper fit.
Adults need a face mask that will fit around their nose and jawline, adequately covering their nose and mouth. Adult elastic sizes are generally 7 inches long for each ear loop and 23 inches long for elastics that the customer can tie around their head.
A general rule of thumb for children’s elastic sizes is to measure about 5-6 inches of elastic per ear loop. Children tend to fiddle with their face masks more than adults, so sew a face mask that will fit snugly on their face while maintaining comfort.
A face mask is incomplete without the elastic ear loops to secure the face mask in place! To ensure you don’t run out of elastic during your face mask production, try purchasing elastic by the spool. This is more cost-effective than buying one elastic cord at a time.
Certain types of elastics will provide more comfort than others. In fact, some elastics may feel too tight on the customer’s face or leave lines on their nose and cheeks. As a business owner, you want to ensure that your face masks are comfortable.
Often, elastics can also feel tight around the ears or not tight enough, resulting in the customer wearing their face mask improperly.
In addition, some fabrics may even irritate the customer’s face, such as synthetic fabrics and wool. Cotton is the best fabric to use on products in direct contact with the skin.
Another benefit of using a homemade face mask is the elastic used on hand-sewn face masks is more durable than disposable masks.
To maintain the effectiveness and durability of the elastic on a face mask, you should not pull or stretch the elastic too much. While the elastic on a homemade mask is much stronger than a disposable mask, make sure to inform your customers how to maintain their masks.
Although a handmade face mask may survive a commercial washing machine, these face masks may last longer if a customer hand washes them in the sink with warm water and soap and hangs it to dry. You can extend a product’s use and save water by handwashing and airdrying it.
The size and elasticity strength can significantly affect the efficiency of a proper face mask. Understanding how to choose the right size elastic for face masks is vital to producing an effective and durable face mask for your customers.