What fabrics are NOT recommended for the creation of masks against COVID-19
And what you must take into account even with the recommended ones.
The second half of the year arrives and increasingly, the masks and the P.P.I. (Personal Protective Equipment), they become an indispensable piece in our wardrobe, in this “new normal”. What is shown, for many, as an opportunity to enter the business of producing these types of garments or take advantage of those shirts that are no longer worn and turn them into masks.
With so many people venturing into this world, it is worth asking. Do the materials I am purchasing really protect me against the virus? It is logical that this goes through your head when acquiring that beautiful mask with a different and striking design.
With this in mind, we developed this post so that you are aware of what types of fabrics are NOT recommended for the creation of these pieces. Read on to find out which they are.
In a study by the American Chemical Society or ACS called “Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks.”, the experts carried out tests on common day-to-day fabrics to measure their effectiveness for their use as masks, as well as their general use for P.P.I. The results of the experiments yielded definitive conclusions, on which fabrics are not appropriate to avoid contagion and what precautions we must take with those that do. Let’s start with those types of fabrics that are not recommended.
Quilt cotton is a type of fabric made of 100% cotton, it is smooth of medium weight depending on the manufacturer and it has a lot of body. This fabric can be used more commonly to make pillows, mattresses, but in some cases, it is also used to make clothes.
This type of fabric has filtering effectiveness of between 14% to 39% which makes it a very vulnerable fabric to create pieces for the combat of the COVID-19.
Flannel is a soft fabric made mainly of wool or cotton with a fluffy and soft touch; wool is used for outerwear, and cotton for underwear or household linen.
The filtering effectiveness for this type of fabric was between 22% and 54%. Despite being greater than that of quilt cotton, the effectiveness of this fabric is low and we must be careful with the protection articles created from this fabric.
Synthetic silk is a type of artificial fabric created to mimic the feel and look of genuine silk, for a fraction of the price of natural silk. Also known as art silk or artificial silk, it is used in rugs, clothing, bags, and cushions.
In the case of this fabric, the filtering effectiveness was between 14% and 25%, which definitely makes it an unsuitable material for use in protective equipment.
Satin is a type of shiny fabric with a smooth surface and medium body made of polyester and can be used to make flags, linings, costumes, prom clothes, lingerie, and pajamas.
In the experiment carried out by the ACS scientists, satin showed filter effectiveness of between 14% and 51%, and it is also one of the fabrics that should not be used to make any type of piece to avoid the spread of the virus.
Precautions we must have
The study also yielded very interesting information. Regardless of the type of fabric used. A crucial factor for the effectiveness of the piece is that fit correctly. The importance of this cannot be underestimated, even with the N95 masks recommended for doctors, if they do not fit well the effectiveness can fall by up to approximately 35%.
Additionally, for the effectiveness of the fabrics to increase, several layers of the same fabric must be made, this can increase up to approximately 15%.
There is no doubt that we are adapting to a “new normal” where wearing masks and P.P.I, is something that is part of our day to day. Better understanding of how to protect ourselves is not only a responsibility to us but also a duty to others. Stay connected with us and stay informed of the best content in the world of fashion and technology. Read, comment, and share.