With hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers quickly running out of face masks, we would like to do our part to help protect those who are working hard to help other regain their health.
One of the many ways you can help is to make fabric face masks. We all have fabric stashes at home that we can break into or even that scrap basket. Many of the mask patterns out there don’t call for very much fabric and are a quick sew. We’ve collected some patterns and tutorials for you here to get you started. However, if you are planning on sewing masks for a specific organization, you may want to check with them ahead of time to ensure that you are meeting their specifications.
PLEASE NOTE: Before you attempt any of the following tutorials or patterns, please do your own research on whether or not the materials you are looking to use are appropriate. We were notified that some HEPA filters along with some other materials are considered inappropriate for masks. We are not medical professionals and do not claim to know what is the perfect materials to make masks out of. We ask that you take some time to make sure that your materials are suitable.
Patterns and Tutorials
Community Pleated Masks
HEPA Filter Face Mask
Face Mask With Filter Pocket and Adjustable Wire (Preferred mask pattern of Hawai’i Care Choices (Formerly Hospice of Hilo))
N95 Style Full Face Mask (With Filter Pocket that opens on the sides)
HEPA Filter Vacuum Bag Mask (As recommended by someone in the medical field)
And YES! You can use your Miele vacuum cleaner bags for this! We’ll have some instructions and tutorials coming soon!
Are Fabric Masks Acceptable?
In times of emergency, the CDC allows fabric masks to be used when there is a shortage of medical-grade masks. However, while a fabric mask may help prevent the spread of droplets, it is not completely effective against all viruses.
All face masks should be washed and sterilized before use and cleaned again after becoming damp or moist. Color-safe bleach like Clorox 2 or Purex 2 can be used to sanitize with hot water.
From our research, the general consensus is that 100% cotton is the most commonly used to make masks. Quilting cotton is readily available and comes in a wide variety of prints and colors.
It is strongly suggested that you use one print for the front and a different print for the back so the wearer can identify which is the side that was facing the public.
Many individuals have also used a liner or a filter in their masks. While we’re not saying that you cannot use these things, we would suggest creating a pocket in your mask, either with a side opening or a top opening, to allow the user to decide whether or not they would like to use a filter, what kind of filter to use, and to give them access to replace the filter as needed.
We know that smaller elastic is becoming harder to find right now so we wanted to give you some alternatives to elastic if you are not able to find the size of elastic you’d like to use.
• Ribbon • Bias Tape • Fabric Ties • Elastic Hair Bands • Elastic Cording (like for jewelry making) • Spandex cut into 1/2″ strips and stretched
Want to see how we use the Spandex or Lycra? View the quick video below!
Additional patterns, instructions, and video tutorials will be added as we go through them. If you have one that you love and would like to share, please feel free to e-mail us the link at email@example.com!