A Brief History of Mask Making

I’ve been giving more and more though to the design of the homemade masks that I have been making since quarantine began. I’ve gone through a lot of designs.

Four of my early designs (yes that is an attempt at a plague doctor style mask… it didn’t stay on well)

And I do mean a lot of different variations. Ones that are meant to stay on as tight as possible. Ones that are meant to keep a seal while giving me the most room to breath, and of course the maximum number of possible layers of filtration for situations that I cannot seem to get out of. That rounded one with spider has about 8 layers in it. And while many of them are okay, I have not found my best mask.

You can see how into Halloween fabrics I am between these two mask collections

And recently, I have been thinking about it, and looking at the better options. I have been thinking more about folding, more specifically about applying origami to the mask design. And no, I do not mean the paper kind with holes punched in it or the rice paper ones. I mean the real cloth, reusable masks.

If it is done right, I think that I could a) make something that is very cute b) add in layers in a way that will help me to breath well without compromising on safety c) deflect breathing that comes both from me and at me, away from my face.

My first thought was a paper mouth design, but those seem to have some limitations. So now I need to be thinking about what I want that to look like, and how I am going to achieve the stiffness. It may be time for some double sided interfacing between the layers.

I think it is time to work on my folding techniques.

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