Dropping off some cacao yesterday, I saw the mask that was donated to a friend. It consisted of ONE LAYER OF FABRIC! No filter, no second layer, no way to add a filter, no way to adjust the fit. It literally hung off her ears and drooped under her nose. So Shame!
My friend would be just as protected with a t-shirt pulled over her nose!
So, lets talk mask construction and qualities you should look for. Fabrics, filter materials, construction techniques and design all are factors to consider when you shop for masks.
My research has found that tightly woven cotton fabrics provide a 70% efficacy, and cotton-polyester fabrics increase that to 74% efficacy. Filters can be everything from another layer of fabric, quilt batting and coffee filters to polypropylene fabrics that can filter the Covid19 .125 microns. The polypropylene used in our masks can filter down to .125 microns, and its washable. With the filter sewn in, fabric weave is less of a factor. All our fabrics are vintage and from a time when quality counted. My art doll fabric collection is turning into your masks. Wait till you see the holiday and Christmas fabrics!
Whats a micron? Well, it's smaller than a human hair. What's a sewing machine needle? Much, much bigger than .125 microns. So each stitch on a mask creates an opening for the virus. Mask design should have no stitches in the center of the mask to avoid creating open access for the virus.
What about design? Masks should be comfortable, effective and fun. Yes, fun. If we gotta wear them, they should bring some joy! Comfort means adjustable, effective means filtered plus nose, cheek and chin seals and fun means you don't mind putting it on and going out in public.
Our masks have a two part nose/upper cheek seal - the nose piece will clamp to your nose and the secondary piece can be smoothed along your cheeks to help keep glasses fog free. The fit of the mask sides and bottom is controlled by the adjustable ribbon ties, giving your comfort and a tighter fit at your fingertips. If ease of use and an even tighter fit is desired, timing off the upper ribbon ends to a pony tail holder provides more tension and a one time fit adjustment. The pleated sides and chin pouch create a larger air space, which increases wearer comfort.
Give me a shout if you want to see what we are creating this week!