A State of Emergency has been declared in Victoria due to the serious risk to public health posed by coronavirus (COVID-19). For more information visit the DHHS website.

Making face masks that may be used in future

15 April, 2020

Symptoms of COVID-19

The severe worldwide shortage of Personal Protective Equipment for healthcare workers as a result of COVID-19 is having an impact on Australian health services, including Western Health. Our Governments at the State and Federal level are doing everything possible to lead and support the provision of PPE, however the supply of face masks is dangerously low.

Many health services have decided to accept donations of masks for use by non-clinical staff or visitors.

All of our planning for the response to COVID is based on many layers of preparation as well as backup plans that we hope we will never have to implement.

That’s why we need your help. We are urging our community to get involved with making face masks for staff so that we are as protected as possible during the pandemic.

We’ve provided a list of things you’ll need, plus a step-by-step video, below.

A few important things to keep in mind:

  • Tightly woven, 100% cotton must be used to make face masks
  • The fabric also needs to be pre-washed in hot water to kill any germs and to avoid shrinkage after the mask is made
  • If you’re using recycled material (such as bed sheets, curtains and shirts), please ensure it is 100% cotton
  • Although the video below includes an interface filter, please note that, in line with recommendations from Infection control, it is advised that the masks do not have to contain filters and the top of them can be sewn closed.

How to make a face mask with filter pocket and adjustable wire

You will need:

  • Piece of fabric, 38cm x 19cm (15 x 7.5”)
  • Bias, approx. 18cm (7”)
  • Twist tie, approx. 16.5cm (6 1/2”)
  • 2 x elastics, 25cm (9 3/4”) long
  • Sewing machine, thread, iron, scissors

Instruction video: how to make a face mask with filter pocket and adjustable wire

Please note that masks can only be accepted if they are 100% cotton and pre-washed in hot water.

Any questions about making these masks can be emailed to us.

Thank you for helping protect the healthcare heroes who are risking their lives every day to protect us.

If you’re interested in other ways to support, please visit the How Can I Help? page. We also encourage you to join our online community on Facebook.