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DIY Covid-19 Fabric Mask (with Filter Pocket) Sewing Tutorial

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This tutorial is inspired by Dr Chen Guanting’s post on fabric masks:

1. While fabric masks will not offer the full protection of a surgical mask, regular fabric masks (referring to ones without filter pockets) have shown to be able to capture at least 50% of 0.02 micron Bacteriophage MS2 particles (5 times smaller than the coronavirus). Source:

2. CDC has recommended homemade masks (referring to the ones without filter pocket) when medical grade PPE supplies are exhausted. Source:

3. As part of efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19, China, Taiwan, HK have encouraged universal mask-wearing (ie, not just for the sick). Czech Republic has also followed suit– in the words of the Mayor of Prague: “Whether you have medical masks, self-made masks, or use a scarf, anything is better than nothing.” Source:

4. Some hospitals in the US have asked the public to sew fabric masks for them due to shortage of surgical masks. We encourage all sewists who would like to contribute to first check with your local healthcare providers on whether they would need/accept fabric masks. For example, in Taiwan hospitals they do not encourage the use of fabric masks (take note that they also do not have a shortage on surgical masks). If you are making them for a hospital in need, make them with these filter pockets as an extra protection barrier.

Dr Chen Guanting advises on his Facebook post that if you’re not actually sick, a fabric mask will suffice as a form of general protection, as long as there is a non-woven layer inside the mask. The non-woven layer acts as a filter.

What can you use for the non-woven layer? The easiest material would be gauze from the pharmacy (non woven), dried out wet wipes (unscented), or brand new polyester floor wipes (dry ones).

Dr Chen recommends the following:
– Wash fabric masks daily
– Replace non-woven layer with a fresh one– do not reuse!
– Do not wear masks if you have respiratory illnesses
– Save the surgical masks for medical professionals who are on the front line of healthcare, and use them only when you need to
– Washing your hands often– it’s more important than wearing a mask.

Please read our full blog post to understand what a fabric mask CAN and CANNOT do for you:

Written Instructions:
Main Fabric: 24cm x 19cm
Lining: 18cm x 13cm
Elastic length per piece: 30cm if elastic is veryyy stretchy, or 35cm if it’s not very stretchy. Try it on and adjust the length if needed.

Main Fabric: 21.5cm x 16.5cm
Lining: 15.5cm x 10.5cm
Elastic length per piece: 25cm if elastic is veryyy stretchy, or 30cm if it’s not very stretchy. Try it on and adjust the length if needed.

Thank you for watching. Stay safe!



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