Learn to make your own reusable mask by Niji

Meet Niji. A line of handmade, washable and reusable face masks all made in Clapton, East London.

After maker Yuki Honjo-Archer observed a sudden increase of ‘one use’ face-masks littering the streets of her neighbourhood – Niji (Japanese for rainbow) was very quickly born.

When work as a Costume Prop Maker came to a screaming halt, Yuki used her time and skills to help make PPE – “It was painful to think in these times how much waste was created from masks, gloves etc. I would come out of my door and see these paper one use masks scattered all over the street. Oneof my friends who works in end of life care was wearing my mask and all her colleagues wanted to buy one, which made me think if someone in the medical profession would wear one then they were good for all” and is now making masks for the community.
With the government now making it mandatory for mask wearing on public transport in London, as well as other visits such as as Doctor appointments, Niji knows it is the most important time to encourage reusable and washable masks instead of the one use. The ethos behind Niji, is to produce masks sustainably on a small production level – anything but mass produced!


The range of masks are 100% cotton with adjustable straps and nose wire to make a perfect fit. When buying and wearing a mask it is really important that it fits properly. That there is a nose wire to seal the gaps. That it covers your chin and that the straps are comfortable and pull the mask close to your face.  That it is washed after every use at 60 degrees”.

Available to buy via their Instagram page – Buy Now

Adult masks cost £15 each and child masks cost £13 each.

If you’d like to make your own reusable face masks, here are some instructions Yuki has provided:

How to make a reusable face mask

Step 1:

Chose 3 layers of cotton fabric with outside layers facing into each other. Trace the face mask pattern onto the back of the lining. Adults- 14.5cm x 21cm. Child- 18cm x 12cm. Giving a little shape to the nose if desired.

Step 2:

Sew all around your pattern leaving a gap on one side to have a hole to turn your mask right side out. Make sure to trap your elastic straps inside your layers on top left and right corners. Cut the seam allowance down to 0.5cm.

Step 3:

Turn it inside out and shape nose wire to insert along top edge. Then pin it into place


Step 4:

Sew along the top edge just under the nose wire to trap it in the pocket.

Step 5:

Pleat each side 3 times. I prefer facing the pleat downwards but it is optional.

Step 6:

Sew the pleats into place and along the bottom edge.

Step 7:

Lastly sew the elastics into place.