We have been receiving lots of questions from customers with regards to fabrics for face masks. We are not qualified to advise on this but wanted to share some information that may help.
Masks are not Magic. They will not in themselves stop the wearer catching or spreading CoronaVirus. But they are part of the arsenal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that many are either required to wear or just feel more comfortable when they do.
In an effort to be helpful our partner Wazoodle pulled the following post together that may be of use. For ease we have provided a summary of the post below.
Note that Cuddle Plush Fabrics take no responsibility for the accuracy of the content of this post and the opinions of the writer.
You need the mask to provide filtration; it’s not just a matter of using any piece of fabric you have lying around. Sid Sharma, the owner of AKASTex and fabric technologist, recommends three layers; one to wick moisture from the face, a middle layer to filter and and outer that is hydrophobic ie. it repels moisture.
The inner layer
Stay Dry material such as ProCool Mesh and Interlock offer great wicking and a little stretch so that the mask can fit snugly and comfortably. If you prefer a natural fabric then our organic cotton interlock or jersey can also be used.
The middle layer
This layer is crucial to provide good filtration yet remain breathable. Surgical masks such a the N95 have three layers of filtration. Fortunately Zorb 3D is in itself already a 3 layer fabric (it has special tangled fibres with a front and back of either bamboo, organic cotton or stay dry polyester to hold it all together).
The heavier the Zorb the better the filtration, but the lighter versions are more breathable. Some versions of zorb also are infused with SILVADUR™ antimicrobial silver ions to inhibit bacterial growth and control bad odours.
Note that Zorb Original CANNOT be used by itself, although it is made of completely safe fibres. It is designed to be sandwiched and sewn between 2 other fabric layers. If used by itself it will fall apart in washing.
Aside from Zorb, natural fibre fleece fabrics can be used instead. The fleece structure provides a tangled surface to trap stuff; or closely woven fabrics like twill. The heavier fabrics provide more filtration, lighter provide more breathability.
The outer layer
It’s really important to keep the mask dry and so again out Stay Dry fabrics here are a good option. One option is to use some other colours to identify who’s mask is who’s in a household and luckily we have a few options to choose from.
Please note that our waterproof ProSoft PUL and ProCare are not recommended in masks as they are not breathable enough according to the manufacturer.
You will also need elastic and a pattern of course. There are many tutorials available (including on the Wazoodle blog post).
Ensure to implement a cleaning/sanitizing routine. Click here to see some options you can use.
And finally please remember: Masks are not Magic. Please follow all government guidance and rules to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.