The CDC has now recommended that everyone should be wearing a face mask when they go out into their community, whether it’s a trip to the grocery store or a necessary stop at your doctor’s office. Wearing a face mask can reduce the risk of spreading germs and may keep the coronavirus from spreading more than it already has.
To do your part and wear a face mask, you need the right information about these masks. You may have seen a lot about different types and want to know how to get one that’s right for you. There are certainly plenty to choose from, for example: medical-grade masks, homemade face masks, and many different styles of DIY masks. You can even purchase a custom face mask for sale. Custom face masks are desirable for many reasons, primarily because a good fit is key to getting the best protection your mask is able to offer. Here’s the lowdown on custom face masks and why you may want one.
Why go for a custom face mask?
Purchasing a custom face mask over a one-size-fits-all face mask has its perks. A mask meant to fit everyone can’t possibly do that because we are all different in terms of size and shape. A woman may have a smaller head than a man, for instance. Kids require a smaller face mask than adults. Noses and ears are different sizes.
A custom mask that’s meant just for you will fit you better than a regular face mask because it’s made to accommodate those differences. There’s less chance of the mask sliding down your face or off of your ears. In order to get that kind of fit from a store-bought mask, you may need to retrofit it to your specific needs, maybe by altering the ear loops or by pinning the mask into place on your head.
If you have the need to wear a mask frequently for work or everyday errands, custom face masks are worth the investment. Not only do they offer a better fit, but they give you the option to choose what your mask looks like and what features it offers. Custom face masks can even have varying levels of protection, as well as aesthetic features that you can pick in order to create a mask you’re happy (and safe) wearing.
Custom mask designs
Another bonus of a custom face mask is the fact that the mask can look however you’d like it to look. Since most of these masks are made of cotton fabric, the sky is the limit as far as designs go. You may see masks with fabric in different colors and designs, ranging from plaid to polka dot to seasonal designs. There are no rules when it comes to the colors you choose, as long as you go with a recommended fabric type (like cotton), leaving an array of options for personalization and customization.
A mask that has been created with your physique and personal preferences in mind is a bit more fun to wear, and it allows you to express your personality. A store-bought mask may just be a solid-colored mask that looks like everyone else’s, which is made to try and fit everyone else’s face as well. A custom design means you can choose which style or design you like. There are masks with Disney characters for kids, which can help reduce kids’ fears about wearing a mask and the risks associated with the virus.
It can even raise senior citizens’ spirits to have a fun, colorful mask to wear. Sports fans enjoy bearing the name and logo of their favorite team, and everyone can get a smile when they see a mask made from fabric featuring holiday designs, or fun patterns like florals or animal print.
Make the most of having to wear a mask by adding a bit of personality, especially if you have to wear one frequently. You can get several masks in different designs to add some flair to your workweek or liven up a trip to the pharmacy!
Custom face mask features
When you’re ordering a face mask from someone that is making it from scratch, you can specify exactly how you’d like your mask to look and what features it should offer. Here are some you may want to consider:
A nose wire
A nose wire can help secure the mask to your face and reduce the chance of it slipping down. It can also minimize extra space in the area between the top of your nose and your cheeks.
Different securing methods
You can choose between a lot of different ways to secure the mask to your face. Ribbons and fabric ties will be tied around the back of your head. This provides a more secure fit for short amounts of time, but can loosen and move around if worn all day. Elastic ear loops allow for a more consistent fit throughout the day, but can cause irritation behind the ears if you are not accustomed to wearing masks regularly. You will need to find the balance that works best for you, and talk with your mask-maker about ways to comfortably secure your mask for the amount of time you need to wear it.
You may or may not want to wear a filter inside your mask. Custom face masks can be made with a special pocket inside to fit the filter of your choice, whether you’re using a coffee filter or a simple paper towel. One filter is recommended; any more than that and the mask becomes less breathable.
You can choose what type of lining your mask has, what type of fabric it’s made from, and what color it is. Some designers are using fabric that does not stretch, while others are using the type of cotton that T-shirts are made from.
Some masks have pleats and some do not. Pleats can help you adjust the way your mask fits over your face, giving you even more room for customization. You can request a mask be made with or without pleats.
Other custom face masks have different fabric layers. Some only have one or two layers, while some have three. A mask should not have more than three layers; they must still be breathable.
Order a custom mask to get the right size for you. You can give your measurements to the person or company creating the mask and ensure that it’s a perfect fit for you or the child in your life. You don’t want to worry about your mask falling down or off – that defeats the purpose of not touching your face while you wear the mask, which is one of the most important reasons for wearing one.
Where can you find a custom mask?
If you want to know how to make your own custom DIY face mask, there are plenty of tutorials available online that are easy to follow. Some of them require the use of a sewing machine, while others only require scissors and patience.
However, if you don’t feel confident in your own personal crafting skills and would rather pay someone a little more experienced to make a custom face mask for you, you may not know where to turn to.
Looking for a mask maker
Luckily, there are many people creating masks right now. There are even some businesses that you shop from already that are taking orders for masks. This is a good time to contact anyone you know who sews, alters, or makes clothes or accessories for a living.
There are a number of small businesses that make handmade items that have switched from creating clothing, handbags, and accessories to making custom face masks for customers. Do a search on Instagram or Facebook for some of these small businesses. On Instagram, use a hashtag like #facemask or #customfacemask to find businesses that are making face masks for the public.
Another idea is to do a Google search for custom face masks, using your zip code or the name of your city. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, send out a post to your followers to find out who they know that is making face masks or if they can make some. With the high number of people sewing face masks from home, you’re bound to find one or likely more people who are making these right now in order to help out as well as make some side cash during a time when unemployment rates are high.
You may have a family member or know a friend who can sew and would be happy to help you out with the face masks that you need. If they don’t have a pattern, there are plenty of templates online that you can print out in order to create the perfect custom face mask!
Finding the right materials
It’s a nice gesture to secure the supplies and fabric needed to make it easier on your mask maker. They are probably going through a lot of supplies right about now!
Head to a crafts store for fabric and elastic or to grab a face mask kit – in fact, your local JoAnn may still be offering these to customers for free. Some materials may be found around the house. Many people are making masks to donate to hospitals and are taking orders to make masks for a small fee for their time. They may or may not have materials already.
Putting in your order
Once you get in contact with someone who is making custom masks, tell them what your needs are and find out how much they are charging for the type of custom mask you’d like. This may vary depending on how many you’ll need. Find out what designs are available and what features their masks will offer.
Typically, custom face masks are running anywhere between $7 to $15 or $30 depending on how elaborate they are. Since the masks are handmade, expect a turnaround time of one to two weeks, depending on how busy the creator is. There is a surge in demand for homemade masks right now, so some of these businesses are quite busy at the moment. You may need to pay for shipping, but the fee should be minimal, and it’s definitely worthwhile!
The only downside to purchasing a custom face mask is that you will have to be patient and wait for your masks to be made. You may want to purchase a store-bought mask in the meantime just so you’ll have a mask to wear while you wait for yours to be finished.
Consider purchasing kids their own masks. They may not need to go out as often as you do, but if you have kids over two, the CDC recommends they should wear a mask too, so it’s just best to have one on hand to fit your child or children in your care, should they require it.
How to care for custom masks
Once you get your custom face masks, be careful when you care for them. Always wash your masks after each wear. You can toss them into the washing machine or hand-wash with hot water and air-dry your masks. Most hand-sewn masks should be hand-washed, but if you’re not sure, ask the creator so you don’t shrink your mask or otherwise alter it – it won’t be easy to replace!