Non-medical masks and face coverings: Sew and no-sew instructions

The following instructions will help you to make your own face covering to help protect yourself and others from infectious respiratory droplets.

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Fabric, filters and layer considerations

Homemade masks should:

If possible, use different fabrics for each side of the face covering, so you know which side faces your mouth and which side is out.

Filters and filter material

Filters add an extra layer of protection against COVID-19 by trapping smaller infectious particles.

When making homemade face coverings, consider using a piece of filter fabric as one of the layers, such as non-woven polypropylene. You can also use a pattern that includes a pocket for a disposable filter.

Disposable filters are widely available for purchase. However, you can also prepare your own filter using:

Filters should not interfere with your breathing. Plastic films or pieces of non-breathable plastic are not a suitable filter material.

Filters made of non-woven filter fabrics can be washed multiple times.

Disposable filters should be changed daily or as directed by the manufacturer.

Sew method

Materials

Instructions

Step 1.

Cut out two 25.5 cm by 15 cm (10 in by 6 in) rectangles of tightly woven cotton fabric. Cut out one 25.5 cm by 15 cm (10 in by 6 in) rectangle of non-woven polyester fabric. Place the rectangle of non-woven polypropylene fabric between the 2 rectangles of tightly woven cotton fabric. You'll sew the face covering as if it was a single piece of fabric.

Step 2.

Fold over the long sides 0.6 cm (1/4 in) and stitch down. Then fold the double layer of fabric over 1.2 cm (1/2 in) along the short sides and stitch down.


Step 3.

Run a 15 cm (6 in) length of 0.3 cm (1/8 in) wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the face covering. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tight.

Use hair ties or elastic headbands if you don't have elastic. If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the face covering behind your head.

Step 4.

Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the face covering on the elastic and adjust so it fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping.

No-sew method using a T-shirt

Materials

Instructions

Step 1.

Cut the bottom off a T-shirt (front and back), measuring about 18 to 20 cm (7 in to 8 in) from the bottom. The front and back of the T-shirt fabric should be thick enough that you can't see light through it.

Note: For this step and the next steps, you may need to adjust your cut measurements based on the size of the T-shirt you're using.

Step 2.

With this fabric, make 2 horizontal cuts of 20 cm (8 in), on the top and bottom. Keep at least a 1 cm (0.4 in) width between your cuts and the top and bottom edges of the fabric.

Step 3.

Cut out a panel of 5 cm (2 in) from the larger piece of fabric by making a vertical cut. Discard the cut fabric. This will leave you with a C-shape.

Step 4.

Snip the 2 pieces of fabric at the crease. This will give you a top and bottom set of tie strings. Now you have 4 strings.

Step 5.

Open your fabric up, so that it lies flat. Place either a disposable filter, a piece of non-woven polypropylene fabric or a folded paper towel in the centre of the mask.

Step 6.

Fold the right-hand flap created between the tie strings in half horizontally, towards the centre of the mask. The edge of the fabric will overlap the centre crease.

Step 7.

Repeat Step 6 on the left-hand side, folding the fabric over each other. You'll now have a mask with 3 layers of fabric and a filter to cover your nose and mouth.

Step 8.

Tie one set of strings around your neck, and the other set over the top of your head. The strings that attach over the top of your head will run along your cheeks and above your ears.

No-sew method using a fabric square

Materials

Instructions

Step 1.

Fold the fabric square in half.

Step 2.

Place the filter in the centre of the folded square. Fold the top of the fabric down over the filter. Then fold the bottom of the fabric up over the filter.

Step 3.

Insert the folded cloth into 2 rubber bands or hair ties, about 15 cm (6 in) apart.

Step 4.

Fold sides to the middle and tuck around the bands or hair ties.

Step 5.

Pull the bands or hair ties around your ears.

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