The government and the World Health Organisation are now recommending the wearing of fabric face coverings in certain circumstances i.e. on public transport or in shops.
Fabric face masks can be washed and re-used making that one purchase quite cost effective. We are going to look at the two main types, and how to fit and use them.
Fitted face masks
These masks are shaped to fit the face and have either ear loops or ties that can be fastened around the back of the head and neck. This mask wants to be quite fitted to the face, you do not want it to be too loose. Often the fit can be adjusted by tightening the ear loops or ties. They can have two or three layers of fabric and are usually made of cotton. They may have a nose wire that enables you to mould the mask around the bridge of your nose and get a closer fit, some have a filter pocket inside so that you can place filters inside of them.
These masks, available from TylermadeCo, come in sizes small, medium and large, cater for adults and children and contain a filter pocket and a nose wire. The elastic is adjustable as it threads through a casing rather than being stitched into the sides. They also come with a cotton bag that you can attach to your bag, keyring etc using the exterior loop.
To put on place onto face so that it fits over the bridge of the nose and under the chin, then put ear loops on. Press the nose wire to mould the fit to your face (the wires are removable so if you didn’t want it you could easily take it out). To remove, without touching the front of the mask unhook the ear loops. Holding the ear loops pull mask away from your face, fold up inside out touching only the inside that was against your face and put into the cotton bag. The mask can then be laundered inside the bag. Minimising your contact with it until it is clean. Ensure that you wash your hands after handling the soiled mask.
These masks are designed to work in a similar way to the medical masks that we see. They can be worn over a medical mask if you have to change masks often, extending the life span of the medical mask i.e. care workers. They extend through the pleats to fit from nose to chin and will have either ear loops or ties. They may have a nose wire.
These masks, from TylermadeCo, again come in sizes small, medium and large. The medium and large are both big enough to fit over a medical pleated mask. They have a nose wire (which can be removed) and open at the bottom so that a filter can be placed inside if required. They are washable and re-usable and come with a cotton bag for hygienic handling.
To put them on, place in front of the face across mouth and nose and fit the ear loops. Ensure that the top is at the bridge of the nose and press the wire to get a closer fit. Hold the mask still at the top while pulling the lower edge down under the chin; the pleats will open to give space.
To remove, take off the ear loops and pull mask away from the face. Fold inside out and put into cotton bag. Ensure that you wash your hands after handling the soiled mask.
If you are looking for face masks for yourself, work colleagues, friends and family members, the masks featured here are available at
where you will find a range of colours and patterns to choose from. Whatever masks you choose, ensure that you apply and remove them safely.
*Fabric masks are non-medical and you should still follow government guidelines on distancing and hand washing.