The cloth or fabric face mask has now become a part of our daily lives as we learn to avoid touching our faces during this coronavirus pandemic as well as protect ourselves and those around us. If DIY is your forte, then I am sure you are itching to make tons of face-masks for yourself and your loved ones with various fabrics to suit your personality. When making your cloth face mask, your fabric choice is important as it affects not just the style and look of your mask, but also how easy it is to sew, how durable it is and most importantly the effectiveness of your mask.
It is best to pre-wash your fabric before you start sewing, as this will stop any shrinkage and ensure your face mask will maintain its shape after regular washing.
The chosen fabric needs to be thick enough that when you hold it up to the light, you cannot see through it, or very little light gets through. It is best to pre-wash your fabric before you start sewing, as this will stop any shrinkage and ensure your face mask will maintain its shape after regular washing. A team of researchers from the University of Chicago and the Argonne National Laboratory, both in Illinois suggest that certain fabric combinations may go some way toward stopping the spread of the new coronavirus. The researchers explain that combinations combining a fabric with a tight weave, such as cotton and one that can hold a static charge, such as silk, are likely effective because they provide a double barrier: mechanical and electrostatic.
The researchers also found that a sheet of tightly woven cotton plus two sheets of chiffon, made from polyester and spandex, seemed to make the most effective combination, filtering out 80–99% of the particles, depending on their size. The team even suggests that the performance of this combination is comparable to that of N95 masks, used by healthcare professionals. Other combinations that perform well, according to the researchers, are tightly woven cotton plus natural silk or flannel, and cotton quilt with cotton-polyester batting.
Ready to join the DIY cloth or fabric mask gang?
Learn how to make the surgical style and duckbill style cloth face masks…
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