Mask Designs & Patterns
Below, please find our recommended features and patterns, however we accept masks made from any pattern.
Accepted fabric: 100% cotton only (no sewn-in or fusible interfacing* or medical fabrics; no polyester, rayon, flannel, fleece, wool, synthetic fibers, etc.) Fabric should be continuous, with no breaks, gaps, or valves. Note - cotton/polyester blend is acceptable for ties. References: PA Dept of Health, CDC
* With hundreds of home sewists making tens of thousands of masks, we take an "open source": approach to ensure recipients know what is in their masks, both during wear and sterilization. Adding non-cotton layers such as NWPP, for this reason, is best done as a removable filter insert.
Suggested features: Based on feedback we received, these were some of the preferences that lead to improved safety, comfort, and ability to customize the mask upon receipt.
Sew channels (vs. ties sewn directly onto mask): This allows the recipient to swap out the ties, or adjust the size. They can even switch between a tie and elastic. Alternately, pony beads or sliding knots can be used for adjustable length ear loops.
Removable nose piece slot: Nose wire is optional. If you do use it (e.g. pipe cleaner or wire), please do not fully sew it in. Instead, create a channel. Allowing for mask "repairs" in case it breaks, pokes through, or slides off-center, greatly extends the useful life of your mask. It also lets recipients be aware of which materials are present in their mark, and allow them to remove it before washing, to avoid damaging the washing machine. Although preferred, sewists do not need to provide the metal for the nose piece itself.
All edges should be finished with no fraying; all strings trimmed. Please only submit masks that you believe are well constructed. If you are unsure, please contact us and we can provide some feedback.
Patterns (below): Our patterns were selected from feedback from both hospitals, stitchers, and individuals. We have sewn masks from each of these patterns. While we hope that all of these patterns can be made quickly, the Leah Day mask pattern is a good place to start for new stitchers. These patterns will fit over N95 masks (please be sure to use the Men’s size for the RCoA pattern). Providence and Deaconess surgical style pleated masks are also well-received.
Although we are requiring that folks receiving masks sanitize everything prior to using, keeping your space clean and sanitized helps too! Do not make masks for others if you are ill. Please wear a mask while working, and keep food and drink away from your work area.
Note: Earloop requests are twice as common as ties behind the head.