All the face masks I make have three layers, a nose wire, and channels at the side which can easily gather together to give you a better fit.
I've been making my masks out of three different fabric combinations. Read on if you'd like to learn more about each combo!
DHHS - polyester/cotton blend/cotton
The DHHS has put out its recommendation for masks. They recommend three layers of fabric and suggest three specific fabrics. They recommend that the outside layer should be polyester or polypropylene which is slightly water resistant. The next layer should be a blended fabric such as a polyester/cotton blend. Finally next to the face should be cotton which will absorb the moisture in your breath.
My DHHS masks are either poly/cotton heavy blend/cotton, or poly heavy blend/cotton heavy blend/cotton.
The two layer of blended fabric isn't exactly the same as what the DHHS suggest, but it's still the recommended 3 layers, and it still has some of the same properties (it should be a bit water resistant) while giving you more choice in what your mask looks like.
During my research I found this study and this article (the article is much more user friendly) which suggest a combination of fibres is the best way to go when making homemade, washable cloth masks. I’ve chosen to use a poly chiffon and cotton combination.
The cotton acts as a physical, moisture absorbent barrier, while the chiffon works as a water resistant physical and electrostatic barrier. Take that electrostatic nasties!
If you’re a fan of natural fibres, these are the masks for you. The only non-cotton bits to these masks are the wire, the thread (it’s polyester), and the elastic (if you choose elastic). If you choose a tie it will be cotton too. How good is natural fibre?!
These masks are the most eco friendly of the fibre choices because cotton can break down pretty easily (even in your home compost!) when it’s run its race.
I'm Beth the human behind Little Grassbird. Welcome!