Recently, we’ve been hearing a lot of questions about washing and reusing fabric masks. There are a wide range of “best practices” emerging from government organizations, sewist groups, and journalists. This post discusses cleaning of masks containing spunbond non-woven polypropylene (NWPP) layers, and clarifies some distinctions between washing and disinfection. Introduction First, a caveat — […]
Since February of 2020, we’ve been asking for standards for masks/face coverings used by our communities. Finally, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has established a national standard for “Barrier Face Coverings” (ASTM F3502) that are neither medical masks according to ASTM F2100 standards nor respirators according to NIOSH standards. This new standard […]
As the pandemic progresses, more attention is being paid to incorporating design features that improve mask fit. To maximize the benefits of these design features, masks need to be put on (donned) and taken off (doffed) using techniques that people outside of the healthcare industries may not be as familiar with. In this post we […]
Update (February 12, 2021): Thanks to our generous community and a grant from Helpful Engineering, we exceeded our fundraising goal for mask testing! In addition to the originally planned fluid resistance, breathability, and bacterial filtration testing of our fabric combinations, we were able to add mask-level NaCl aerosol filtration tests to our campaign. Thank you […]
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 […]
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. […]
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, […]
In this guest post, our collaborators from the ROSE Project (Reusable Open Source Equipment) debunk some common myths about face masks for COVID-19 and share the facts about masks.
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.
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 […]