Our mask requirements :
First and foremost is that it should have a filter barrier.
Any cloth mask helps the spread of droplets from entering a healthy person. But a hydrophobic non-woven layer between two pieces of fabric is an ideal structure for a handmade mask. A droplet will not penetrate through the hydrophobic membrane to contaminate the wearers mouth or nose. Non-woven fabrics have a better filtration efficiency than a woven fabric because non-wovens are composed of fibres with each individual fiber serving to capture particles.
Hydrophilic materials such as coffee filters, wipes, paper towels are not ideal because the droplets will spread out, penetrate through, and contaminate the wearer's mouth and nose. You can test whether a material is hydrophobic or hydrophilic. If water beads up on a material, it is hydrophobic. If it spreads out and penetrates, it if hydrophilic. We have used a hydrophobic membrane between two pieces of fabric. This is a fully machine washable filter system that retains its hydrophobic properties after being washed.
Another important feature is a nose wire. This allows the wearer to shape the mask tightly around the nose to limit exposure. It also helps to prevent glasses from steaming up as you breath.
The last feature is elastic. While a tie can be secured more tightly against your face, and is preferred for medical professionals wearing a mask all day long, the vast majority of us will only wear a mask when out in public. Elastic is fast to put on and easily adjustable. We use 1 piece of elastic to go around the back of the head twice. We make it long enough for larger heads, and easily tied with a tighter knot if your head is smaller. If you prefer that the elastic goes around your ears, you can cut and change it to that style. We have found that for adults, one size fits both men and women, larger heads and small.
Now that society is starting to reopen, we know that many of you would like to wear a mask when you leave the house. So, we will use our newly found PPE expertise for the general public.
As always, if you are a frontline worker, we would like to show our love and support for you. Please continue to message us if there is anything your organization requires. We will try to help or find you the help. We want everyone to be as safe as possible.