Learn what best options of fabric, elastic, cord and ties options and recommendations there are for homemade face masks.
There are quite a few options out there for fabric face masks— and it’s getting a little confusing as to really what is best and what works well.
You’ll need to remember that these are FACE masks. They touch your face. You’ll be breathing through it, so please, please be aware of that and mindful of what materials you use.
*don’t use anything with a glue, starch, adhesive or other chemicals in the fabric.
Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:
Let’s talk about Elastic, Cords and Tie options for your fabric face masks.
As with any of these tie and elastic options, make sure they are either-
1- Sewn into the seam so they are secure
2- Threaded in a casing
Elastic, Cord and Tie Options:
- Shoelaces. I know you may have a couple of packages hanging around, and they will work just fine. Depending on the length of the lace, you may get 2 masks per pair.
- Elastic. Either the cording or the flat will work just fine. 1/4″ is best (smaller, think – it’s going behind your ears). If you are not able to purchase the elastic, you can go through your closet and find clothes that may have it! Great way to upcycle!
- Fold over elastic. Similar to the regular elastic, but this had a seam down the center which allows is a little more movement and the ability to fold in half. These are used for baby headbands, but will work great for masks as well. Soft and stretchy.
- Ribbon. This is great option. Works just like a fabric tie. I seem to collect ribbon, so I have a plethora of it! Again, it’s a great stash buster if you use ribbon. Be aware of the thickness of it and that it’s going to be tied behind your head- so make sure it’s strong enough to handle the multiple tying as well as the wash.
- Fabric Ties. Make these yourself using a hem tape maker. You can use regular cotton, t-shirts (super soft). Just be aware of the stretch when it comes to other fabrics other than cotton. T-shirts are great, but some will continue to stretch with use and become a problem. Just be aware of that.
- Bias Tape. These are great for making ties. They come pre folded, making sewing them into a tie quick and simple.
The Best Fabric Recommendations for Homemade Masks
*as with anything, check the content of the fabric before using- you are BREATHING through this material. You don’t want to inhale anything that could cause health issues.
- Fat eighth, fat quarter or a 1/4 yard of fabric will work great for making masks. It’s not a lot of fabric that you’ll need!
- Quilting cotton has been found to be better than anything with a stretch- like knit fabric. High quality quilting cotton has a tighter weave and is the best option. *if you can see through your fabric, you should pass.
- Batik fabric. It is very tightly woven because of the dye process it goes through in production. This is very good when the tighter the weave the better, but you also need it to handle many washes, wear and still breathable.
- Pillow cases. Store bought pillow cases have a higher thread count then homemade pillow cases, they are a great option when it comes to making a face mask.
- T-shirt. These are great as an additional layer. They are soft, flexible and have a little stretch. They will need to be combined or layered with another cotton material to be more effective.
Additional Face Mask Tutorials and helpful tips:
- How to sew a face mask video tutorial
- 10+ Face Mask Tutorials
- What fabric is best for face mask straps
- No sew face mask video tutorials
More helpful articles:
- How to sew a face mask with video tutorial
- 10+ Face mask tutorials and videos
- Sew Can She – elastic and ties for face masks
- What materials are best for masks
- Sew Can She – fabric recommendations for face masks
- Jennifer Maker – materials for face masks
- Putting buttons on headbands for face mask
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