Mask Making Patterns

Optimization of this support project will be achieved by standardizing the following aspects when it comes to Mask Making:

  • Raw Material choices - dense weave, 100% cotton or cotton poly blend, possibly doubled fabric.  See below an extract from Smart Air's study, showing the cloths which have performed the best in terms of small particle capture. That being dense woven cottons. 


Making DIY Masks with Household Materials

Bottom line: Test data shows that the best choices for DIY masks are cotton t-shirts, pillowcases, or other cotton materials.

These materials filter out approximately 50% of 0.2 micron particles, similar in size to the coronavirus. They are also as easy to breathe through as surgical masks, which makes them more comfortable enough to wear for several hours.

Doubling the layers of material for your DIY mask gives a very small increase in filtration effectiveness, but makes the mask much more difficult to breathe through.


  • Proper fit - using a standardized pattern with nose wire and adjustable ties for reduced leakage around the face.


  • Consideration of Compliance - what you make for your community is something that needs to be as comfortable as possible and breathable.


  • Standard Making patterns - there are a vast number of patterns available online and via channels such as you tube, we believe those with the ability to add filters via an insert and contain a nose wire increase the probability of slowing the spread of the virus particles.  You can use any pattern you wish.

  1. How to make a mask with filter pocket and adjustable wire
  2. Olsen mask from UnityPoint Health
  3. Surgical style mask from Daconess Health


  • Added Extras - please ensure your masks are sewn well, with no frayed edges or missed seams.  Always ensure you have pre-washed your fabric before you make your mask to eliminate any shrinkage when completed.


  • Information to the Community - for the community receiver please ensure that if you are using any fabrics with a polymix then please let them know as those masks will need hot washed and not be cleaned by the four hour/overnight routine.