Clothing the Pandemic

A Virtual Exhibition of COVID-19 Face Masks from Around the World

Khayamiyya mask

Historically, Egyptian tentmakers created ornately patterned, hand-sewn cotton appliqué textiles called khayamiyya for tent interiors. Frequently colourful, today these fabrics largely are used to create soft furnishings or fashion items, often for tourists. With the onset of COVID-19, they have been used to make masks. This mask is decorated with a stylized arabesque floral design framed by an interlinking, geometric border. Other common khayamiyya patterns are inspired by Pharaonic motifs, folklore, Islamic designs, calligraphy and animals.

unrecorded maker, Egypt


Designed in Cairo, Egypt

Made in Cairo, Egypt

Cotton, beak mask of two layers of fabric with a handstitched appliqué khayamiyya pattern in green, brown, tan in a black border on the front face, sewn onto a white backing.

The British Museum


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