Up your mask game with the following tips!
With new and more contagious strains of the coronavirus spreading in the US, it's time to upgrade from just the cloth face mask. Here are some hacks and tips to make your mask more protective.
1) Wear two masks: Double masking!
Double masking is the new safety option which consists of having two masks on top of one another. The two masks most commonly used together are: the three ply surgical mask and a cotton mask in front. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci endorses double masking because "it just makes common sense". Layering masks reduces the porosity of your face covering, it's more likely to do a better job of protecting you from infectious respiratory droplets.
2) Add a filter to your face mask
Our Olson style mask has two layers of fabric plus a pocket for a filter. We add a free PM2.5 filter with each Olson mask sold and sell them separately as well. A PM 2.5 filter is composed of 5 different fabrications that are combined together to create a filtration piece that helps block out air droplets. The 5 layers include 2 non-woven polypropylene, 2 melt blown paper, and activated carbon.
Here are some other filter suggestions:
1) Cut the surgical mask to fit the pocket
2) Cut out filters used in portable air cleaners
3) Spunbond material available at fabric stores (uses the power of static electricity to trap particles)
4) 2 facial tissues folded in four-layers does a decent job to boost protection
* Do not use coffee filters because they're hard to breathe through and you end up breathing around the filter rather than through it
3) Use better cloth masks- 100% cotton tight weave
When creating any garment be it a mask or evening gown the fabric that is used to make the garment matters. Every fabric has its own unique characteristic that it is known for and every fabric is created by fibers that have their own structure. Natural fibers have an imperfect hairy like texture while synthetic, man made fibers are smooth.
Being that we are specifically talking about masks whose purpose is to help keep out air droplets; the best fabrication to use would be one that is tightly weaved, woven and consists of natural fibers that help catch any droplets that try to pass through the fabric. A tight weave is important for the fabric to have because the tighter the weave the less space there is in between each fiber to make an opening for the air droplets to pass through. Most of our face masks are made of 100% cotton woven fabric. Our fashion masks like lace or sequin are not 100% cotton.
4) Fit matters!
Face masks should fit snugly around your nose and mouth. Our Olson style masks comes with elastic adjusters so masks can be tightened to face. Masks include a nose wire to form the bridge of the nose for a better fit. These two details will help seal the mask better to the face!
See NPR source below for other tips and detailed explanations!