No Cutting or Sewing Required.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends wearing a cloth face mask in public to slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. It is critical that N95 and other medical masks be reserved for health care workers, who are on the frontlines righting the battle against this virus every day. Even the Surgeon General has warned the public not to buy masks, since the threat posed to medical professionals by the mask shortage is so severe. And with the world quickly running out of other kinds of masks, it has become clear that Americans are going to have to make their own. Some have suggested using bandannas, but according to the New York Times, “the fabric is typically so thin and flimsy that it would likely offer little protection.”
Many of the masks people are making at home require sewing skills. They are wonderful, but there is a faster solution that is very attractive. Here at Topdrawer, we’ve put together a tutorial on how to create your own face mask using a cotton handkerchief and two hair ties, with no sewing or cutting required. The Japanese process of creating a mask from a handkerchief is particularly effective because it features multiple layers of cotton protection, even more than standard masks.
Handkerchief face masks do not provide the level protection of medical N95 masks or surgical masks used in hospitals. But there is widespread evidence from public health officials, and research of the SARS epidemic that wearing masks puts a barrier between our mouths and the germs that transmit disease. Masks are only effective if they are used as a complement to hand washing, social distancing, and other measures recommended by medical experts. Wearing a mask also helps you remember to not touch your face, which humans are prone to do every 2.5 minutes. Additionally, since hospitals are running out of masks, making your own mask helps to alleviate the drain on supply.
Shown above, the selection of Topdrawer Japanese Handkerchiefs at our Berkeley, California location. Topdrawer, 1815 Fourth St Berkeley, CA 94710
Even if you don’t use Topdrawer’s beautiful Japanese handkerchiefs, you can use the same tutorial to create your own masks using your own handkerchiefs or other fabrics you already have. Watch the video below or follow the steps in the images. Stay safe, stay healthy!
Bonus: Once you are done using them as masks, your handkerchiefs can go on to have normal lives as coasters, placemats, fashion accessories, pocket squares, hand towels, and more. All machine washable and made of beautiful fabrics built to last.
Written by: Tyler Thompson (Communications Manager at Topdrawer)