Mask Sewing Information

For those who sew, here’s a project with a purpose. 

Given potential shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), fabric masks may be option for some. Your time and talent is greatly appreciated in the community to help ensure safety. Fabric masks offer the benefit of being able to be washed and re-used. 

Functionality is the main concern.
Below are tips to make sure the mask is as effective as possible. Non-matching fabrics, thread, binding strips are just fine - but a well-sewn mask with no frayed edges or missed seams or "holes" is important.

Questions About Sewing Masks

Will Emory Healthcare accept masks made out of polypropylene surgical wrap? If so, is the Emory Healthcare Emergency Department donating Halyard H600 fabric to make masks?

  • The masks are intended mainly to support social distancing for health care workers and prevent the person wearing the mask from expelling respiratory droplets. We are making face masks available to all Emory Healthcare (EHC) staff and providers who wish to wear them while working on-site. Masks will not be used as a substitute for personal protective equipment (PPE) so we will not have a specific need for masks made of polypropylene surgical wrap and we will not be distributing Halyard H600 fabric.

Do donated masks need to have covered/closed sides?

  • The covered sides are not required. We’ve attached one pattern for masks below, but there are a variety of other resources on YouTube. Masks for social distancing do not need to have covered sides.

Do donated masks need to be washed after sewing?

  • We ask that you pre-shrink the fabric in a hot wash before making the masks so there’s a tight weave in the cloth and there’s no shrinking after stitching. Clean material that is free of holes, fray, and gaps is important for sturdy wear.

Use the Standard Pattern below for proper fit and function.
  • Recommended fabric for the outer portion of the mask includes heavier, non-stretch fabric such as denim, duck cloth, canvas, twill, or other tight woven fabric.
  • Recommended fabric for the inner lining and filter pocket can be either cotton, cotton-blend non-stretch fabric. It can be thinner and softer but again recommended minimal or non-stretch.
  • Must be laundered in HOT water prior to sewing to prevent future shrinkage.
  • Polyester or other less breathable fabric will not work as well, due to moisture produced when breathing.
  • If using denim or other fabric that is being "recycled", please be sure it is clean and in good shape. Worn or dirty fabric will not be protective.
  • Elastic should be in good shape, with plenty of stretch and of an appropriate size to fit over the ears. 1/16 inch round cord or 1/8 inch braided work best.
  • If elastic is not available, fabric ties can be sewn on the mask. There will need to be 4 ties (one tie on each of the 4 corners). Ties should be approx. ¼ inch in width, sewn in such a way that there are no frayed edges, and long enough to be tied into a bow on the top of the head (for the top corner and behind the head for the bottom corner).