How to Decide the Type of Mask to Purchase

Posted by Wendy Windsor on

With so many different masks for sale out there, it can be challenging to figure out which ones to purchase. Here's what the experts* say:

FIT

The fit is most important, above all else. There is no benefit to wearing a mask if it gaps around the nose, cheeks and chin. The mask needs to cover both the nose and mouth and it helps if the straps can be adjusted.

Don't purchase a mask that doesn't have a photo of a model (or several models) wearing it. You need to see how it fits.

FABRIC

Research shows that 100% cotton is an excellent choice for a washable mask. I've been using batik cotton since I first starting making masks, because I like the tight weave and gorgeous colors. Looks like the experts agree, based on a "light" test. 

I decided to conduct the light test myself  I taped different fabrics up to the window to see how much light comes through. The less light the better the fabric.

1. 100% Cotton Broadcloth (one layer) - Notice how easy it is to see through it?

2. 100% Cotton Batik (One Layer) - Notice how you can barely see through it?

3. 100% Batik Cotton(Two Layers) - Virtually no light passes through and you can still breathe through it.



4. Lining made fro ZEP industrial towels (One Layer) - some light comes through but you can't see through it.

5. Batik and ZEP Lining (Two Layers) - no light passes through but I also couldn't breath very well.

CONCLUSIONS

Two layers of batik is still my recommended choice for a handmade mask. The fine weave blocks the light , you can still breathe through it, and it is fully washable.

Look for a well designed, well made mask sold by a reputable seller. Make sure the seller provides care instructions.

MASK CARE

Masks should be hand washed every day they are worn. Hand soap works just fine. Hang to dry rather than using a clothes dryer, to ensure the fibers remain strong. Whichever fabric you choose, it needs to be washable!  Never wear a wet or damp mask!

RESOURCES

*https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/making-your-own-face-mask-some-fabrics-work-better-others-n1175966

*https://www.today.com/style/what-type-fabric-best-face-masks-t179615

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