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24 November 2020

Face Mask DIY Kits – A General Review

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When the coronavirus pandemic hit, there was a lot of confusion about whether wearing a face mask was useful in combating the spread of the disease. Initially, the increased demand in the healthcare sector also meant that there simply wasn’t enough to go around for everyone, as well as for the medical professionals who needed these urgently as the case numbers started to increase. Consumers were left thinking about how to make their own face masks instead, which became increasingly popular after the World Health Organisation recommended the use of face masks in public regardless of the lockdown level in each region. We got to test out a specific DIY kit, which encourages people to create a face mask from an old t-shirt. How did this shape up, and are there other alternatives you can consider, especially ahead of the possible second wave of the virus?

The Trending “T-Shirt Face Mask” DIY Kit

The “T-Shirt Face Mask” DIY kit trended on social media as a result of it being an easy way to turn a common household item into something useful to keep you protected in a public space. Requiring just a t-shirt, scissors and a coffee filter or paper towel, this DIY kit was meant to help anyone who didn’t have the opportunity to buy a face mask. The process involves picking a square towards the bottom of the shirt where the material is the thickest, and using a safety pin to stitch together a mask that would be a temporary protection. We tried this popular face mask kit, and while it may have good intentions, it was clear that it didn’t provide a long term solution. The mask was somewhat flimsy, and perhaps even less effective depending on the materials you chose to use. 

Sewing Experience Optional But Beneficial

At the same time, other DIY kits are worth considering, but one major consideration for these is that most of them rely on having some sort of sewing skills and experience in order to get the kind of product you can use time and time again. This particular kit we tried required using two pieces of cloth and some elastic and sewing them together in a neat and orderly fashion. While most certainly a way to create a higher quality face mask, and with the potential to add a bit of your own personality to the print, anyone without any sewing experience may really have a hard time wrapping their heads around this. So what else can you try?

An Alternative DIY Kit With a Better Guarantee

Personal protective equipment providers like G.Fox realised early into the pandemic that a lot of DIY masks are flimsy and fickle, unable to be banked on in the long run. They also knew that it was important for disposable masks to reach the right sectors during the shortage, so medical professionals could do their jobs and not have to risk their own health and safety in a bid to treat patients. In response, the company released a DIY face mask kit at cost price, containing the material, thread, elastic and instructions all in one go, to make the kit as easy to use as possible. The kit is designed to create 100 single ply masks (which is great for spaces with large groups of people, like offices) and even gives instructions on how to create double ply alternatives if the number of masks needed is less than 33. Here’s a company that paid attention to the market, realised that consumers needed help in getting a high quality mask at an affordable price. Their DIY mask is the easiest way to go about it, even if you have absolutely no experience in fabric design. Stay safe out there!

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