As most people know, the CDC now recommends that everyone who goes out in public wears some level of face covering to help slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is recommended that people NOT use medical grade masks as these should be saved for the medical professionals who need it given our limited supply (source). This is great, but most of the available options involve sewing or cutting up old t-shirts. Personally, I’ve never learned to sew and I don’t own that many T-shirts so neither of these were really good options for me. I wanted a way to make masks that would be somewhat effective and of which I could make enough for my entire family. It has been found that industrial shop towels work the best of all homemade options. According to the article, “Inserting two of these towels into an ordinary cotton mask brought filtration up to 93% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, the smallest their machine could test. Meanwhile, the cotton masks filtered 60% of particles at best in their tests” (source).
So with that knowledge, I went on the hunt to find a pattern for a knit or crocheted face mask. Sadly, I ran into block after block of paywalls wanting me to buy the pattern. I did find a few videos on YouTube though so I watched a few then came up with a pattern that would work to hold a filter.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a medical professional – if you have any medical questions, please call your Doctor. Also, any similarity between this pattern and others is purely coincidental.
This pattern involves making two pieces – a front covering, and a pouch. They are then sewn together using your preferred method. I used a slip-stitch approach to create a seamless appearance but do what you’re comfortable with. This part doesn’t matter so much. Also, you may need to adjust the number of rows used to fit your unique face shape, as well as the number of loops for the ear piece to ensure a snug fit.
You could dress up this pattern using embroidery, adding edging, appliques, or anything else that strikes your fancy. Get creative! If you want to share your creations made with this pattern, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll share them here on my blog! I’d love to see how you can get creative with this!
For the liner, I didn’t have blue shop towels, but I did have white Scott Shop Towels on hand, so that is what I used. They are still the same fabric, just not blue. 🙂 Others have bought house filters that block viruses, disassembled and cut them up, and used those as their liners. This is a more expensive option, but it is an option! Whatever you use, be sure to double, or better yet, triple up whatever you use. I cut my shop towel to the correct width, then triple folded it to fit inside the liner pouch. The bottom line here is to DO WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU!
So without further adieu, here’s the pattern – for FREE – because this isn’t about profiteering, it’s about sharing knowledge so we can all stay safe, happy, and healthy!
Face Mask with Liner Pattern:
Yarn: Size 4 – Cotton is preferred – This was created with “I Love this Cotton” yarn from Hobby Lobby but you could use any Size 4 yarn.
Hook: Size H/5.00mm (Or 1-size smaller than what your yarn calls for to ensure a tight weave)
Other Supplies: Darning needle and scissors, Filter material for liner (see recommendations above)
- CH – Chain
- SC – Single Crochet
- HDC – Half Double Crochet
- DC – Double Crochet
- SL ST – Slip Stitch
To start, CH 33
Row 1: Starting in 2nd chain from hook, SC across.
Row 2-12: Starting in 1st SC, 5 SC, 8 HDC, 6DC, 8 HDC, 5 SC. CH 1. Turn.
(May need to adjust # of rows based on age, face size, yarn weight)
Row 13: Starting in 1st SC, SC across.
Ear Loops: On last row, without breaking, CH 22, SL ST to opposite end on same side.
For opposite side, SL ST to join yarn at bottom, CH 22, SL ST to join at top.
(Another method is to do a SC when joining, then a SL ST on the next stitch. Adjust length of chain as needed to create a snug fit.)
To Start: CH 23
Row 1-12: Starting in 2nd CH from Hook, 8 HDC, 6 DC, 8 HDC. CH 1. Turn.
(Do one less row than the front of the mask)
Line up Pouch on the 6th stitch from the end (5 on each side) and use a slip stitch across to join the two pieces.
Weave in all ends.
Cut filter material to width of pouch, fold into thirds, and insert into pouch. After each use, remove and discard insert and wash pouch as you would laundry.