How to make a face mask – Part I

27 Jan, 2021

We are going to make a series about how to make great face masks; this is part 1. Can anyone make face masks at home, as politicians like you believe? Yes, provided you have the right materials and some great sewing skills.

Let's be clear: If you're thinking of designing a reusable mask in 2021, the main reason is COVID. So let's abbreviate the hunt and talk about protection. First and foremost; the face mask you're designing; someone will wear it and be practical; your product will be shielding a person's life. So please don't run to do it yourself; read this whole series.

The science is pretty simple. COVID19 virus is small and can go through tiny holes. Cloth by design has holes in it. Don't believe us, just put the cloth under a tap and try it. The virus is tiny; here is a comparison of the COVID19 virus with other particles.


Image Credit: Visual Capitalist

As you can see, it is smaller than a dust particle. It is 0.1 to 0.5 UM in size. So all face masks with PM2.5 filters; you can throw them in the trash; they do not protect you from the virus. Although; honestly, they are still much better than not wearing any.

So the most important ingredient is melt blown, all N95 or FFP2 masks have this fabric as the main filtration layer. Contrary to popular belief, melt blown fabric is made of plastic and not naturally occurring biodegradable elements. So if you are using a disposable mask, remember that it will take over 400 years for it to biodegrade after you throw it. If you buy a melt blown fabric of the FFP2 class, ask the factory to provide you with appropriate certificates of efficiency.

The meltdown on the one hand has very small openings to stop the incoming pollutants including the COVID19 virus. On the other hand, it should be statically charged, as viruses have a slightly positive charge on them. This pull and push provider a higher filtration level compared to no charge. The static is dissipated if the filter is exposed to water.

Note: All reusable masks that claim filtration; has invalid claim if filter can not be removed from the mask. After the first wash, the filtration level drops to the mid-70s and then continues to drop with each wash.

When making your mask, you should use this material as one of the layers.

Part 2; will be released by next week.