The Scoop on our Face Masks
We are not jumping into face masks willy nilly.
From the moment this crisis came stateside, friends and customers have been asking us to make MiliMili face masks. We loved the idea, but we wanted to make sure we did this thoughtfully.
There are a ton of DIY face mask patterns floating around the internet—and even more amazing sewists spending time and money to help those in need (shout-out to the sewing community!). With so many patterns to choose from, which one should we pick?
It took some time to figure out how to make the most effective non-medical-grade mask we could. We stumbled across @sugardale's pattern, made a few small adjustments, and we were off to the races. Here are some of the things that we learned in the process:
- Fabric should be breathable—100% cottons, canvas, or denim can work. Sadly, our signature bamboo fabric is a bit too breathable, and not super effective at slowing down particles.
- The mask should be able to be sterilized at high temperatures. This should be easy with natural fibers. Some elastics, however will melt at high temperatures, and therefore don't make the best tie material.
- Ideally the masks will not have a seam down the center. While these types of masks hug the face well, the additional seam decreases the integrity of the fabric weaving, and introduces holes for particles to enter.
- Non-medical-grade masks are useful in preventing us from touching our faces as much, and for containing coughs and sneezes.
How to Fit Your Mask
- Masks should be tight to your face.
- Fit the bottom loop of the ties around your neck.
- Pull the top ties tight so that there is no slack in the loop and tie on the top of your head.
- Once ties are secure, scrunch the sides of the mask to adjust to the most comfortable fit.
- Watch video.
How to Clean Your Mask
- Masks should be washed HOT or boiled after every use.
- If you are using a filter, remove filter before washing—and make sure that your hands are thoroughly washed or gloved prior to removing your mask and your filter.
- Read more.
How to Make a Filter for Your Mask
- Adding a filter is key for maximum protection against virus particles, especially when social distancing cannot be guaranteed.
- The MiliMili Filter Pattern can be found here. For a breakdown of materials that work best in homemade masks, we direct you to this article. Please remember that filtering must be balanced with breathability.
- To make your filter, print and cut out our pattern. Trace the pattern onto your filter material (vacuum bag, household HEPA, blue shop towel, etc), and cut. Slide inside the pocket on your mask, and remove after use prior to washing mask.
Masks for Kids
We are in the processes of testing toddler face masks with our favorite pattern tester, Remy. If there is a demand for them, we'll be ready with the right fit. Be advised, however, that the CDC ONLY recommends cloth face-coverings for children over two who are able to remove the mask themselves. For more information on protective measures for your little ones, click here.
An added bonus? For every single mask you buy, we will donate a mask to an essential worker.
***We do not guarantee that use of our masks will prevent wearer from contracting COVID-19 or any other viruses. N95 masks are recommended for professionals as they filter at least 95% of particles that measure 0.3 microns. Based on feedback from our contacts supporting essential workers, we will continually update our masks if improvements are found.
***Wearing a mask is not a replacement for social distancing or staying home. But when you need to leave the house to go grocery shopping, or to walk the dog, masks are recommended. It’s best for those with compromised lung capacity to protect themselves by staying home, and away from any potential risks.
***All masks are one size fits most.