Updated: Apr 6, 2020
Friday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to recommending individuals use cloth face coverings "in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain," such as grocery stores and pharmacies. The guidance recommends people use fabric coverings. While surgical masks and N95 masks may be more effective, they should be reserved for healthcare providers and infected patients.
The million dollar question is, do homemade masks work?
When it comes to making your own masks the quality and effectiveness vary widely depending on the fabric and the design. Scientists found that while some performed even better than surgical masks which typically filter out about 60% of particles, others were basically useless. The experts recommend staying away from masks made from knit fabrics and ones that were so thin they allow light to filter through the weave. The best ones tend to be made with 2 layers of heavyweight cotton with a thread count of 180 or more. Think high quality bed sheets. No matter how good a mask is, it’s rendered completely useless if it is not handled, stored, and cleaned properly. Healthcare providers recommend that the mask be handled only by the elastics, and to not touch the outside front of the mask at any time. This keeps you from transferring the germs from the outside of your mask to your hands and vice versa. Neither should it be pulled down around the chin while you eat. The mask should be laid flat with the inside up on a surface, and not tucked away in a pocket or purse to contaminate all the contents inside. If you’re done using it, place it in a plastic ziplock bag to machine wash and dry on high heat at home. Heat over 120 degrees Fahrenheit and UV light break down the virus as well, so if you are out and about, consider storing the mask on a napkin on the dashboard of your car for a while between uses.
We've got you "covered."
This prom season, Staar Tailors has shifted gears from gowns to making high quality face masks to help supply the demand in our community. We did a lot of research on materials, filtration, wear-ability, and wash-ability. We used the CDC's preferred design. The cloth that we use is higher quality cotton. Our masks are also significantly more comfortable, so more likely to actually be worn. Many of our designs use solid cloth rather than patterns because the cloth darkens when moisture hits it so you know when it's time to swap it out. They are washable, and will last longer.
How can you get homemade face masks for your loved ones?
We have also shipped hundreds of masks to customers within the United States. The colors are changing rapidly as we sell out of certain patterns and colors, but we’re excited to do our part in helping to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic.
From our family to yours, stay safe and healthy.