Face Mask Product Info
FACE MASK INFORMATION
***DISCLAIMER: THESE ARE NOT MEDICAL GRADE MASKS AND ARE NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR PPE.***
UPDATE: November 7, 2020
Health Canada has recently updated their non-medical face mask suggested material information. They recommend the following:
A mask or face covering can be homemade or purchased, and should:
- be made of at least 3 layers
- 2 layers should be tightly woven material fabric, such as cotton or linen
- the third (middle) layer should be a filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene fabric
- be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose, mouth and chin without gaping
- allow for easy breathing
- fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
- be comfortable and not require frequent adjustments
- be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
- maintain its shape after washing and drying
You can read more information on their website here. This is almost identical to the previous information released earlier this year, with the exception that they are now specifically identifying the middle layer material/filter.
In light of this new information, we will be adding additional products to our mask accessories collection to enable you to make your 2-layer mask a 3-layer mask, which can easily be done with our masks as they all have a filter pocket.
UPDATE: June 15, 2020
Health Canada continues to recommends the following fabrics for personal use face masks: "...be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)..."
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently issued recommendations on personal use face masks with the following fabrics and three layers:
WHO is actively studying and encouraging research on the science of masks. New research findings identified the following preferable types of fabrics, number of layers and the composition of a non-medical, fabric mask:
- an inner layer of absorbent material such as cotton
- a middle layer of non-woven material
- an outer layer of non-absorbent material, such as polyester or polyester blend
We are now offering both fabric content masks: 100% cotton (both layers) and a polyester layer/cotton layer mask in different styles. We offer non-woven filters for insertion in our masks to act as a third layer. Visit our mask collection to view all styles available.
WHY OUR MASKS ARE MADE FROM 100% COTTON:
We chose a tight weave 100% cotton to make our basic face masks.
While we were researching face masks, before it was stated that it would be good idea to wear one in public, we found that hospitals and medical institutions were recommending 100% cotton in a tight weave fabric. Luckily, the fabric we chose to make the lining of our handbags was such a weave since we knew it would need to stand up to a lot of wear and tear. We considered a lot of other fabrics as well. We have a lot of cork (water and dust repellent) and leather on hand, but it would be rather difficult to breathe if we made them out of those materials! I worked in the pharmaceutical/medical industry for many years, and in reaching out to my contacts in the field, it became clear that a tight weave 100% cotton fabric was the material of choice for us to use in our basic masks. Cotton jersey was also suggested. If in future, other materials are tested and suggested by the medical/hospital/university sector, we will consider using those materials as well in our mask production.
WE PRE-SHRINK THE FABRIC BEFORE WE SEW
Yes, we take the time and effort to pre-shrink the cotton fabric and iron it before we sew. It’s a wrinkly mess after pre-shrinking.
If we don’t pre-shrink the cotton fabric, then when you wash it (we will assume in hot water given the reason you’re wearing a mask), and dry it, it would come out fitting your Barbie doll! We’re kidding, of course, but it would shrink. If we washed the masks after they were made, they would not be the correct size anymore.
Some of you (and some hospitals) are asking for white only masks. We have ordered white fabric and they will be available shortly.
We offer two styles of face masks: pleated and contoured.
What’s the difference?
PLEATED MASK - MORE UNIVERSAL FIT
The pleated mask has a more universal fit than the contoured mask. Due to the pleats (we have a fourth pleat to accommodate the bridge of your nose, that only appears on the backside of the mask. From the front it looks like three pleats. A hospital issued this pattern.) the face mask is able to expand or contract to accomodate a wider range of face sizes. If you think about it, the variations of face measurements from the bridge of your nose to under your chin AND from the centre of your face to your ears, AND THEN, the relative positioning of your ears (high, low, centred) to your nose, etc., etc., well, you can imagine all the combinations! We have added “adjustment ties” to the mask to make it fit better/tighter on the most faces possible. The ties are added to the ear loops and can be positioned to different places on the ear loop and then you tie it behind your head. It also relieves the pressure off the top of the ear that can get irritated with prolonged wearing of masks.
That being said, the pleated mask on the faces we have tested fit the most people. This is probably why the surgical masks in hospitals are made the way they are and have the pleats.
CONTOURED MASK - MORE FITTED, LESS RANGE
Not everyone likes the look of the surgical mask, so we made a contoured mask. The pattern was designed with average measurements in mind. Therefore, it will rest a little higher on the bridge of some noses, less on others and all the other variable combinations in between. It will not fit exactly the same on everyone. In a perfect world, we would take your measurements and fit it to your measurements. And then you would have bespoke mask and it would cost a fortune! We have added “adjustment ties” to the contoured mask also to make it fit better/tighter on the most faces possible. The ties are added to the ear loops and can be positioned at different points on the ear loop and then you tie it behind your head. It also relieves the pressure off the top of the ear that can get irritated with continuous prolonged wearing of masks.
WHICH BRINGS US TO THE NEXT TOPIC…
Why not just have the elastic stretch to fit over the head?
From what we have read and in speaking with people in the healthcare/medical field, you DO NOT want to be lifting the mask over your face to get it off your head. Why? Most of us are not medical professionals and we are not trained in removing possibly contaminated articles of protection from our faces and bodies. While removing the face mask over your head, you could inadvertently flip the mask over and touch your face with it. It’s also quite difficult to remove the mask over your head without actually taking hold of the mask itself. You do not want to do that. You want the mask to be removed away from your face, while trying not to touch the mask itself. Once you have removed the mask, do not put it back on without washing it first.
Remember to wash your hands before applying and removing your mask.
That is why we made our masks to tie behind your head or use the ear loops. If you do not want to use the adjustment ties, simply cut them off.
Filters are a hot topic! Many, many suggestions are out there on the internet, you can easily look it up and decide for yourself. You probably have what is suggested to use as a filter in your own home. We sell a non-woven 100% polyester filter that can be cut to size and inserted into our masks from the opening at the bottom.
NOSE CLIPS FOR BETTER FIT:
You have probably heard all about the “nose pinch”, "nose adjuster”, "nose clip" or whatever other name it goes by.
What is it?
It’s a piece of flexible material that you can “pinch” over the bridge of your nose that will keep it’s shape in order to obtain a tighter fit for your mask. We do not make or sell these adjusters, however, our masks are made with an opening at the bottom so that you can insert a filter and/or a nose adjuster. There are a ton of suggestions about this on the internet, so research it and decide if you want to use one. We tried a twist tie and it worked!
Make sure you remove the nose clip before you wash the mask to avoid rusting and possible damage to your washing machine.
MASK TIPS WE HAVE DISCOVERED SINCE WEARING THEM:
- Wash your hands before applying or removing your mask
- Once you have removed your mask, do not reapply it without washing it first
- If you have long hair, tie it up in a ponytail, it’s easier to put on and remove that way. Also, you can adjust the height of your ponytail to accommodate the tie back on our masks to sit on top of the ponytail for an even better adjustable fit.
- People ask us if it’s comfortable to wear a mask. It’s different, but I wouldn’t say it’s uncomfortable. It does take some getting used to. If you wear glasses and go from hot to cold, they tend to fog up. Nose adjusters help with this.
- We are being asked for white only masks. Depending when you are reading this they are already available or will be shortly.
- Some have commented that they find it a bit striking to see masks on people or they are shy to wear one. We are just not used to seeing mask wearing “en masse” yet. We will/have already made some in a more muted color, in a beige that is more easily assimilated to a skin tone, so it’s a little less “noticeable”. That being said, depending how long this goes on, we will probably see some wild and whacky, designer face masks emerging and it will become everyday commonplace to see masks on everyone.