MakerMask

Author: Dr. Jocelyn Songer

Fluid Resistance: Mask Material Test Results

New test results show that upcycled spunbond nonwoven polypropylene (NWPP) mask materials can provide high-level (ASTM Level 2) fluid resistance. MakerMask has supported the use of spunbond nonwoven polypropylene (NWPP) in homemade masks due to NWPP’s inherent hydrophobicity, or water resistance. Thanks to community contributions, we were able to put reclaimed NWPP to the test […]

Mask Fabrics: Introduction to Fibers and Fabrics

How Do I Choose Fabrics for Masks for COVID-19? Since March, it seems like there has been a constant barrage of conflicting information about which fabrics are the best for masks for COVID-19. We’ve put together this crash course on mask fabrics to provide some of the fundamental concepts in fabrics and how they are relevant for our collective mask making efforts.

Homemade Mask Summit: Masks Unmasked

In June 2020, the team coordinating the Homemade Mask Virtual Summit at Tulane University interviewed Dr. Songer about the science behind masks and invited Dr. Songer to give the Keynote Address for the summit. This post contains the audio and transcripts of Dr. Songer’s Keynote Speech: “Masks Unmasked: A Look at the Science Behind Fabric […]

WHO Guidance on Face Masks Changes

Surprising New Guidance from the WHO The WHO guidance on face masks for COVID-19 has changed to include the recommendation that the general public use fabric masks in public settings where physical distancing can’t be achieved and provides specific guidance on mask layers and materials. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the ideal fabric […]

Fabric Face Masks: Cleaning and Disinfection

Reusable fabric masks should be cleaned and/or disinfected before each use to reduce risks associated with COVID-19 AND other potentially infectious microorganisms (e.g. bacteria, viruses, and fungi). Although the general principles of mask cleaning and disinfection are the same for most fabric masks, details will vary depending on specific mask designs, features, and materials. These […]

A Breathable Combination: An N95 plus a NWPP Mask Cover

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are global shortages of N95 respirators resulting in large scale adoption of procedures and policies for the extended use and re-use of N95 respirators. In this post we do a deeper dive into the quantitative breathability data for the MakerMask: Cover, a breathable N95 mask cover. The […]

Label Me A Face Mask: FDA Labeling Requirements

Almost everything comes with a label, from food to clothing to medicine to medical devices, and according to the FDA, face masks and cloth face coverings should come with labels too. More specifically, the Emergency Use Authorization for Face Masks released by the FDA April 24, 2020, includes labeling requirements for masks that are being […]

The Big Four: Criteria for Fabric Mask Materials for COVID

This deep dive post looks into the “Big Four” criteria evaluated in preliminary assessments of community mask materials: material characteristics, breathability, water-repellence, and disinfection options. More specifically, we focus on nonwoven polypropylene (NWPP), which is commonly used in commercial face masks. Although ideal medical grade NWPP is not currently available for community use, NWPP is commonly available at different weights and grades for other household and/or commercial purposes, such as reusable grocery bags. Here we take a more in-depth look at the 4 preliminary criteria considered when evaluating potential sources of NWPP.

Face Masks for COVID-19: Background Information

The MakerMask project team has reviewed extensive literature on the science and manufacturing of NIOSH-approved respirators. We selected a multi-layered design that balanced increased filtration capabilities with permeability for breathing.  The spunbond non-woven polypropylene (NWPP) outer layers use the same type of material used in medical-grade commercial masks, providing water-resistance for blocking droplet transmission and mechanical filtration from the structure of the fibers.

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