Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, masks have become an essential part of our everyday ensemble. The Centers for Disease Control recommend wearing masks to protect against the transmission of the virus. In fact, some states and countries now mandate the use of masks when in public spaces. While there are a multitude of masks available on the market, a 3 layer mask is often recommended. Here is a guide on which fabrics should be used for the 3 layer mask.
The first layer of the mask should consist of a fabric that is lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking. It is responsible for keeping droplets and particles from entering or exiting the mask. This means the fabric should be tightly woven or knit to prevent airborne particles from passing through. Good options for this layer include cotton, silk, or polyester. Cotton and silk are breathable options for masks and readily available. While polyester may not be as breathable, it is a common fabric used in the production of medical-grade masks.
The second layer of the mask should be a non-woven fabric that provides additional filtration. Medical-grade masks often use a meltblown or spunbond fabric as the second layer. Meltblown fabric is made from polypropylene and is the material commonly used in surgical masks. It has a higher level of filtration, but it can be difficult to find. Spunbond fabric is easier to find and made from synthetic fabric, but it has less filtration power than meltblown.
The third layer of the mask should be a moisture-wicking material. This means the fabric should be hydrophobic, meaning it repels water and other fluids. This layer can be made using the same fabrics recommended for the first layer if they have been treated to be moisture-wicking. However, it is important to note that not all fabrics can be treated for moisture-wicking. Good options for this layer include nylon or polyester.
When making a 3 layer mask, it is important to ensure that the layers are breathable, moisture-wicking, and provide adequate filtration. However, it is also essential to choose materials that can be easily washed and disinfected. Cotton is a great option as it is readily available and able to withstand multiple washes. Polyester and nylon can also be washed, but they may not be as breathable as cotton.
In addition to choosing the right fabrics, it is essential to ensure that the mask fits properly. The mask should cover both the nose and mouth snugly without pinching or causing discomfort. It should also be secured with ear loops or ties to prevent slipping.
When making a 3 layer mask, it is essential to choose the right fabrics. The first layer should be breathable, moisture-wicking, and tightly woven or knit. The second layer should be a non-woven fabric with filtration power, while the third layer should be a moisture-wicking material. Cotton, silk, and polyester are excellent choices for the first and third layers, while meltblown or spunbond fabric may be used for the second layer. Remember to ensure that the mask fits snugly, and follow proper washing and disinfecting guidelines. Let’s work together to keep ourselves and our communities safe.