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Resources for Individual Makers

If you want to make small numbers of masks on your own ...

The resources on this page will be helpful to anyone who already knows how to sew and wants to make masks - even if just a few of them.  The documents linked at the bottom of the page tell you how to:

  • Select appropriate fabric and other materials for mask-making
  • Fabricate high quality and functional homemade cloth face masks (or covers for N-95 respirators) -- whether one mask, a handful, or a basketful.
  • Wear and care for the masks you make.

The writeups are also intended for use by mask-maker members of a team that has other people taking orders for masks, dropping off materials, picking up the masks, and distributing them.  So, just ignore anything that doesn’t fit your situation.

Be sure to read Technical Specifications, which has specific recommendations for mask designs, materials, assembly method, and quality standards based on our extensive research and analysis.  In our opinion, a high quality homemade cloth face mask should meet these performance specifications:

  1. The design must fit well on a human face.  Air that escapes around the edges of the mask has not been filtered.
  2. The type of fabric used must be tightly woven enough to filter out most airborne particles that are the size of respiratory droplets and virus-laden aerosols – and pass our simple test to prove it.
  3. The mask must be breathable enough for the user to tolerate it for a long while.  Enough air has to get through to avoid a feeling of suffocation.  NOTE: Some people cannot tolerate any face mask at all.
  4. The mask fabric and materials used in ties or ear loops must be comfortable on the face and skin for prolonged wear and not cause abrasions or allergic reactions.
  5. The mask must be washable in hot soapy water with chlorine bleach -- and (preferably) be suitable for machine drying on a hot setting.
  6. The mask must be durable enough to last through multiple wearings and washings.
  7. The materials must be widely available to the general public in stores or on-line.
  8. The materials used to make a mask must be reasonable in cost.

Here are the documents to download and read electronically or print.

Instructions for Mask Makers Background and overall instructions for those who will be fabricating masks, including links to patterns and detailed step-by-step instructions.
Technical Specifications Detailed specifications of fabric and notions required to make an effective mask.  Easy test to ensure fabric has required filtering properties.  List of items needed.
Basic Orientation and FAQs Background on nature of exposures, risks, mask characteristics, how to choose what mask to use, etc.
Handout for Mask Wearers "Wearing and Caring for Cloth Face Masks."  Single page instruction sheet for general public.  Printed copy should accompany each mask.
Instructions for Mask Wearers
Instructions for Mask Wearers (Word)
More detailed instructions for healthcare worker wearers and others.  Basics about using masks: how to put them on, remove, launder.  Word version of the file is suitable to customize.

Please send your comments, suggestions and feedback to help us improve!  Email us at

Web site resources provided by Webility Corporation.

Jennifer Christian MD

President, Webility Corporation


Claudia G. Hix DO

Occupational Health Works, LLC


David Siktberg MBA

Exec VP, Webility Corporation

© Copyright 2020 Jennifer Christian MD and Claudia Hix DO.  Reproduction and distribution of this document are permissible ONLY IF the source and content are intact. If text revisions are made, all references to authors and project name must be removed, unless approved in writing.