COVID-19 Cloth Masks

  • MakeIt Labs is providing this information with no guarantee of any kind.

  • Use at your own risk.

  • Using a home made mask may be ineffective at preventing any infection.

  • Most materials have not been tested by accredited laboratories for making masks.

  • Using untested materials in masks may be harmful to your health.

We are currently suggesting using only cotton cloth or non-woven polypropylene (unused or laundered reusable shopping bags) for use in DIY masks.

Other materials are not currently recommended for DIY masks and may be hazardous to your health!

Both cotton and non-woven polypropylene masks may be boiled for 10 minutes for sterilization.

Cotton masks may be washed in a standard washing machine with soap.

Resources for Making Your Own Mask:

With a Household Sewing Machine

Using Cotton Fabric

  • Maker Mask - Mask Cover and Surge Mask designs

  • Cotton "Scoop" style with Non-woven Polypropylene Reusable Shopping Bag

Take the following design but add a third layer of non-woven into the design cut to the same size of the male main pattern. You don't need to add a wire unless you want to.

VIDEOS: (This will be re-filmed to fix the audio)

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on constructing cloth masks from COTTON. Three designs are shown: sewn, t-shirt no-sew, and bandana.

  • Bias Tape Folder ( 3d Printed Tool )

    • Bias Tape is fabric which has been folded and sewn to create a strap or string for mask ties.

    • It can be tricky to make it you try to do it by hand, but this thing will automatically fold the tape as you sew.

    • Download this thing from Thingiverse to make your own

    • The one we are using is found here

    • Scale it to fit the fabric strips you are starting from, or cut the strips to fit. This one will use 4cm strips.

Using Non-woven Polypropylene Reusable Shopping Bag

Maker Mask - Mask Cover and Surge Mask designs can also be made from NWPP based their designs and material choices on research and testing. Their website contains links back to the sources, and provides rationale for the material they chose, as well as reasons why other materials should not be used.

Join Our Volunteer Network of Household Use Cloth Mask Makers

Fill out our Household Use Cloth Mask form to get on our list of volunteers.

Thermally forming seams on Non-woven Polypropylene (NWPP) fabric

Using Impulse sealers (heat sealers)

Using a Household Iron

      • Set on highest setting

      • Place a single sheet of aluminum foil under fabric

      • Place a single sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper over fabric

      • Iron seam (time and pressure will depend on the iron and fabric ply count)

      • Wait a few seconds

      • Pull off aluminum foil or parchment paper (should pull easily once fabric cools)

Note: Testing was performed over an unfinished piece of plywood.

A hard surface that is somewhat of an insulator is probably best.

Cutting/bonding fabric using a Laser Cutter (MakeIt Labs 80W)

    • Halyard H600 Material (both the blue and white ply together)

    • First pass - defocus (z = +35mm), Speed = 16, Power = 18

    • Second pass- normal focus (z = 0mm), Speed = 100, Power = 26

    • Problems noted:

          • edges are wispy/stretched plastic, may be annoying.

          • It’s not a strong bond; agitated use will separate the two-ply

    • May ultimately be a time-saver compared to laser cutting and heat as two separate processes.

    • Not sure how durable a laser cut seam is. TBD

MakeIt "Fitted Mask" Project:

MakeIt Labs is documenting its own "Fitted Mask" project efforts. Please see the PDF file at the bottom of this page for details.

Private MakeIt Labs Slack Links (only accessible by MakeIt Members)

N95 Equivalent Mask (Living Document)

Material Testing (Living Document)