Mask Fabric

Where to Buy Fabric to Make a Mask, and How to Sew a Mask

There are many different resources out there to acquire fabric, whether you look at a fabric store or order online. All you need is at least one yard of fabric to get started making your own masks at home!

You can sew a face mask out of cotton, flannel, batik, or plaid. Whatever fabric you choose is okay as long as it’s breathable.

The mask fabric will take up 11 inches in width and be 10 inches long. There are 36 inches in a yard of fabric, so buying 1-2 yards online should give you plenty of fabric to work with. 

Most fabric is 44 inches wide, again, large enough to cut a pattern for a mask. If you live in a more moderate climate, stick to 100% cotton fabrics. The higher the cotton amount, the more breathable the mask will be. If you use fabrics with a polyester blend, it will be much hotter and tend to stick to your face and mouth, making talking much more difficult. If you live in a colder climate, then take a look at flannel fabric options to help keep you warm.

You will also need 28 inches of elastic per mask, ⅜ of a yard is the ideal size. Your mask will go behind your ears and the elastic will run all the way through the mask.

Cut the fabric at 10 X 11 inches and stitch with a machine or by hand about a ½ inch seam at the top and bottom of the mask, it must be wide enough to have a piece of elastic fit through it. You can sew pleats on the lateral ends of the mask to make it fit on the face but expand to cover the mouth and nose. Sew pleats on the sides (about 1 inch each) and then sew the top and bottom edges and thread through the elastic and sew it shut.

After that, sew up the sides using either a needle and thread by hand, or your sewing machine. After you’ve sewn the sides shut, your mask should be good to go! Stay safe, the CDC recommends wearing it while out shopping or when you interact with others.

For products with breathable fabrics for masks a solid cotton or batik should do it. Pick a fun print if you want, make a statement. Make them for all of your friends and neighbors. has a solid offering of fabrics that could work for your homemade mask.

Laura LeMond