Covid Action Cowichan

Pleated mask

For many faces that are otherwise hard to fit, this pleated masks based on those used in hospitals, is the universal mask pattern.

I use an 8.5″ square piece as the foundation for my masks. This fits me and most of my family members. For those with beards, I use an 8.5″ x 11″ piece. I also add a separate piece at the edges for a channel (as shown in an image below). This adds both length to the sides and also reduces the number of layers needed to be stitched through to create the channel.

The nice thing about the base sizes above is that they use a standard letter sized sheet of paper. Most longer beards would be accommodated with a pattern based on a legal sheet, and then add an extra pleat or two at the bottom.

For all beard masks, I use a reverse fold at the bottom, as the nose-fold mask video shown below for the top of the mask. This helps to contain the beard.

Since you are making these for your own families, dispense with the filter pocket and simply add a third layer of non-woven interfacing. This has many benefits, including helping to keep the pleats in place while sewing, making them easier to iron after washing, and never having to replace a filter again.

To make smaller masks, use smaller pieces of fabric based on face measurements from ear to ear and nose top to chin bottom.

 

Sarah Maker fabric-hospital-mask-13
Sarah Maker fabric-hospital-mask-13

We like the instructions in this Sarah Maker pattern, which has some excellent descriptions about materials and what the features of the mask provide in functionality. Well worth reading. This pattern does not use a side channel for the cords, but that can be added if you wish. If you are a reasonably skilled stitcher, you can try adding gussets as a separate piece. For more on materials, please look at our Fabric  and Filter Materials pages.

Gussets
Gussets

The YouTube video below shows a method for folding the top of the mask back to create tension that holds the mask effectively against the nose. There is an image after that of a mask made by Sylvie J showing how well it works.

Reverse Nose Fold Improved Pleated Face Mask (RE-UPLOAD)
Reverse Nose Fold Improved Pleated Face Mask (RE-UPLOAD)

 

Sylvie's Mom in a pleated nose-fold mask
Sylvie’s Mom in a pleated nose-fold mask

Pleatmaker folded for use
Pleatmaker folded for use