Textile supply chain challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia–Ukraine war give unique insights into how health crises and geopolitical instability could dry up supplies of vital materials for the smooth functioning of human societies in calamitous times. Coinciding adverse global events or future pandemics could create shortages of traditional face coverings among other vital materials. Reusable face coverings could be a viable relief option in such situations. This review identifies the lack of studies in the existing literature on reusable fabric face coverings available in the market. It focuses on the development, filtration mechanisms, and factors associated with the filtration efficiency of reusable knitted and woven fabric face coverings. The authors identified relevant papers through the Summon
database. Keeping the focus on readily available fabrics, this paper encompasses the key aspects of reusable face coverings made of knitted and woven fabrics outlining filtration mechanisms and requirements, development, factors affecting filtration performance, challenges, and outcomes of clinical trials. Filtration mechanisms for reusable face coverings include interception and impaction, diffusion, and electrostatic attraction. Face covering development includes the identification of appropriate constituent fibers, yarn characteristics, and base fabric construction. Factors significantly affecting the filtration performance were electrostatic charge, particle size, porosity, layers, and finishes. Reusable face coverings offer several challenges including moisture management, breathing resistance factors, and balancing filtration with breathability. Efficacy of reusable face coverings in comparison to specialized non reusable masks in clinical trials has also been reviewed and discussed. Finally, the authors identified the use of certain finishes on fabrics as a major challenge to making reusable face coverings more effective and accessible to the public. This paper is expected to provide communities and research stakeholders with access to critical knowledge on the reusability of face coverings and their management during periods of global crisis.