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Mask Designs

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What design to use?

There are generally two styles of fabric masks being sewn by hand for donation. The simplest one is the rectangular mask. It is easy and relatively fast to sew, and can optionally be made to form around the bridge of the nose with a metal nosepiece (pipe cleaner, twist tie, floral wire, or metal strip). Rectanglar masks are acceptable for many healthcare centers, laboratories, and government agencies where contact with patients is minimal.

Many hospitals, however, are requesting a shaped mask that is more form-fitting and provide better protection for healthcare professionals that come in direct contact with patients. This mask takes a little longer to make, but is very comfortable and secure. It requires a metal nosepiece (made from household materials) to get a good fit across the bridge of the nose.

If you are not a confident sewer or you want to make a lot of masks really fast, then make the rectangular mask. If you have a reasonable sewing ability, try the shaped mask since it is what the hospitals prefer. They are going to need lots of them!

If you are here looking for information how to make a personal mask for yourself or your family for everyday public use, you can try any of the designs here that are requested by the hospitals. But if you want to keep it simple, the New York Times has an easy mask that you can make from household items. Another really good mask tutorial recommended by Calico Gals is here.

Washington Post 4/8/2020:
Answers to your DIY face mask questions, including what material you should use