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Mask Material Testing Plan

As regular readers of MakerMask know, we have been hard at work fundraising for our next round of laboratory mask testing. MakerMask Lab Testing Campaign This post shares more details on what we plan to test and why. Why do we need this testing?  There is a disconnect between the materials available to sewists making […]

Common Approaches to Increasing Seam Strength

Mask Math/Science Vignette: Mask Straps According to the guidance released by the WHO in December mask straps should be designed to withstand at least 10 lbs of force ( 44.5 Newtons). The materials that most straps are constructed from (e.g., cotton straps and silicone bands) easily meet these requirements. However, we’ve seen a number of […]

WHO Fabric Mask Guidance – December Updates

On December 1, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated their guidance on fabric masks, “Mask Use in the Context of COVID-19 (December, 2020)”, including their “Updated Guidance on Non-Medical (Fabric) Masks” (p. 19-22). This post pulls out key quotes from the new WHO guidance, touching on their recommendations for layering, mask performance standards, and […]

Finding and Selecting Polypropylene for Washable Masks

In this post we discuss how we think about selecting spunbond nonwoven polypropylene (NWPP) fabrics for washable masks, where we have found spunbond NWPP, and why we’ve chosen Smart-Fab® Double-Thick for our next round of testing. Our Mission Our mission is to share information with the public about the best emerging mask science to help […]

Breathable Masks: Testing Results

Key result: Quantitative testing shows that fabric masks constructed from spunbond nonwoven polypropylene (NWPP) and/or quilting cotton are breathable and can satisfy NIOSH criteria for breathability. Ready for more testing?  Visit our MakerMask Lab Testing Campaign for details. Introduction: Breathable Masks Breathing isn’t optional, and as COVID continues and mask wearing becomes commonplace, we are […]

Adopting WHO Guidance on Fabric Masks for COVID-19

This paper describes key differences between the WHO and the CDC fabric mask guidelines, including the rationale for the inclusion of hydrophobic polypropylene materials in the WHO guidance, and was initially shared on the SSRN Preprint Server on June 26, 2020. [Update: December 2020)] The WHO updated their guidance on Fabric Masks December 1, 2020. […]

Constructing Masks for Singers

Dr. Jocelyn Songer In this guest blog post, Joan Fearnley, a soprano, a choir director, and the creator of the open source “Singer’s Mask” pattern/design, teams up with MakerMask to discuss some of the science and special considerations for masks for singers. The five sections of this post answer key questions about masks for singers: […]

Research Highlights: NWPP Filtration Efficiency from Long et al 2020

This post is the first in a series of “Research Highlights” where we discuss select data and research from the literature in the context of community mask making efforts. In this post, we take a look at the filtration and breathability data for nonwoven polypropylene (NWPP) mask materials presented in: Long KD, Woodburn EV, Berg […]

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 NWPP in homemade mask designs because of its unique combination of breathability and hydrophobicity, or water resistance. Thanks to community contributions, we were able to put the fluid […]

5 Key Considerations For Window Masks

One of the challenges with face masks is that they often cover key facial features and expressions that are important for communicating speech and emotions. For many people, this means missing out on smiles, and having a little bit more trouble understanding other people in noisy environments. For people that are deaf, hard of hearing, […]

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