Where to buy AFNOR Homemade Washable Fabric Masks? Barrier Masks

Since the beginning of the crisis, everyone has been complaining about the lack of masks. Masks for caregivers, then communication not very clear on the usefulness of wearing masks. In any case, what we notice is that most of the people we meet on the street wear masks. I don’t know where they found them…

Finally, an official study hasconfirmed that fabric masks havesome effectivenessin preventing VIDOC-19, provided they are used properly.

The localities are supposed to provide us with them (for free or not, that’s another debate), and the wearing of masks will surely be made compulsory in the coming days. But given the efficiency of the government now providing improved garbage bags to protect caregivers… maybe it’s better to do it ourselves before we are given masks made of PQ.

For those of you who can’t get it, who can’t sew, and who are wondering how you’re going to do it by May 11th, I have five leads for you.

Note: for healthcare professionals and at-risk occupations, one company helps to support front-line professionals by providing surgical masks or FFP2/KN95. Contact them directly here

For individuals, go to :

1/The AFNOR website

The 1st track is the people close to you, having declared being able to provide barrier masks on the AFNOR website: free of charge or with payment. They follow the pattern recommended by AFNOR. That is to say no seam in the middle of the mask, but without the place for a disposable diaper. Consult the list of suppliers / homemade couturiers here

2/ Homemade masks… by yourself

You will find tutos to make masks with or WITHOUT sewing on tutos are very easy!


Do you know the Etsy site (link), where individuals sell their handmade products? You will find here home-made fabric masks from 7€ each with free delivery everywhere in France. The quality varies from one seller to another, and the masks do not have a place for a disposable diaper.

Give priority to items that are available quickly (the manufacturing lead time is marked on the item sheet) and to salespeople who respond quickly to messages (you can write to them before placing the order) so that you can still get a follow-up.

4/My contact

I know a self-employed woman living in Amboise (near Tours) who makes cotton masks, washable, home-made and sends them in a letter followed everywhere in France. After making many masks on a voluntary basis, she now has cloth masks in stock.

She has made a lot of them to offer to the caregivers at the hospital & EHPAD near her home. And then she started selling masks to individuals – to finance the purchase of mask fabrics for the masks offered free of charge to the caregivers (well, yes, the fabrics and elastics have a cost!).

There are surely other people offering homemade masks, but this is the only person I know who offers masks with a place to put a disposable diaper.

To learn more about the usefulness of cloth washable masks + the famous disposable diaper in question, read this excellent article written by a textile engineer

And why don’t other seamstresses offer masks with space for disposable diapers? For two reasons:

  1. Adding a place to slide a disposable diaper takes 50% more time vs. a standard mask (and more fabric too – if you knew how hard it is to find fabric, even online, right now)
  2. And unfortunately people follow the official patterns available, which don’t provide a pocket for disposable diapers. These patterns are made for a maximum of people to make them because the goal is to produce and equip a maximum of people. A too difficult pattern that takes too much time to make would have discouraged most volunteers. As an example, I told a friend who is new to sewing how to make this kind of masks and after 4 masks (3 hours per mask), she is already hyper exhausted and no longer even thinks of making masks on a volunteer basis – even though she has a sewing machine and all the fabric and elastics needed to make a 50-odd one.

Let’s go back to Lien, my seamstress (she is an artist at the base but has become a producer of homemade masks lol). She offers two types of masks:

3D Mask

  • Advantages
    • hugs the shape of the face, does not touch the nose & mouth. No fogging. This model was initially recommended by the CHU for their caregivers because it is comfortable and fits the face well. The pattern of this mask has been given to the particular couturiers to make and send to the caregivers
    • fabric: cotton, therefore very comfortable, several layers
    • has a place to drag a disposable diaper (ask the seamstress if you want to add this feature)
  • Disadvantages: has a seam line right in the middle
    • Why am I talking about this: Recently, AFNOR has been recommending to wear cloth masks without the seam in the middle of the mask – explaining that viruses may pass through these mini-seam holes (even if there are no official studies to prove it).
    • The seamstress and I discussed this point. And from a comfort viewpoint, we really recommend the 3D version even if it doesn’t follow the AFNOR’s reco.
    • For people not working in high-risk areas (medical environment for example), the use of a more comfortable mask with the possibility of adding a disposable diaper seems to us a good compromise.

Foldable mask

  • Advantages
    • corresponds to the AFNOR criteria, i.e. seamless in the middle of the mask
    • fabric: cotton, therefore very comfortable, several layers
    • has a place to drag a disposable diaper (ask the seamstress if you want to add this feature)
  • Disadvantages : the tissue directly touches the nose & mouth. Can create fog because it does not fit the shape of the face as well

The lady in question handles custom orders, so she can offer ADULT (male/female) and CHILD sizes.
Colors offered : White / Grey / Pink or multicolor

The cost

themask +
5€ for the sending in followed letter
(a letter can contain several masks
)Payment by Paypal (select “sending between relatives”

Contact information

I receive NO commission on sales. I am giving you his contact information because by word of mouth, I have been asked for his contact information many times.
I tested his service before recommending you and having taken sewing courses in a professional school, I know the quality and work behind each mask.

  • Contact Lien either on Facebook: https: //
  • Either on Whatsapp or by phone : 0633939099
  • Specify :
    • the model you want (3D or foldable)
    • specify if you want the version with a place for the disposable diaper (the disposable diaper isn’t provided but more info below)
    • the number of masks (adults male/female, or children)
    • the color
    • your address
    • the masks will be sent by tracked letter (count 7 to 10 days with the reduced service of the post office), but she can also send by express mail. she will give you the tracking number of the letter.
  • For those who need an invoice, please specify it, she is self-employed and can issue it to you. She can provide companies as well.

Be careful, these masks are homemade with cotton. They are for NON-SANITARY use and
correspond to the masks known as “general public”

But as our textile engineer blogger said here, and I quote: “Keep in mind that [it’s] betterthan notwearing any masks. Just make sure you can breatheproperly through your layers of fabric. Make sure you don’t gettoo warm when wearingit. I repeat, but I recommend cotton over polyester.”

Wear them with a disposable diaper, wash them at 60°C and tumble dry them

The Disposable Diaper

Fabric masks are not delivered with disposable diapers. It is up to you to get them.

According to our textile engineer blogger here, the technology used to manufacture the anti-static dusting wipes is the same as the fabrics that make up the famous 100% polyester 3-ply masks.

And “the spunbond of an electrostatic dusting wipe does very well for a mask worn for barely an hour, the time to go shopping for 2 or 3 errands!Why is that? Because the polyester “electrifies” quickly, so that anything that passes near the filter will be attracted to it. That’s why the electrostatic dusting wipes catch dust so well!”

Source :

So choose the cheapest brands, which are fragrance-free.

5/ The sock of France

The barrier masks of the French brand La chaussette de France aren’t home-made but factory-made. They are particularly successful because the fabric is of excellent quality: 56% COTTON-43% POLYAMIDE-1% ELASTHANNE 18 gauge – 200 needles – selective buckle. They have reviewed their entire production line to get these barrier masks out in time. Let’s support this small factory located in France!

You can buy a pack of 5 for 44,9€ here

Sources cited in the article

Why wearing a fabric mask is better than nothing & which fabrics to choose: https: //
More information on AFNOR criteria :

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