FAQs About Mask Construction
Those who depend on us for their protection hope we do our research to make sure we are making the right choices.
Here, you will find well researched answers to perhaps all your questions about how masks should be constructed for your protection from infection.
- ▼Are your cloth face masks made of cotton?
Yes, the inner layer is at least 90% cotton. All our reusable masks also have threads of synthetic material to assist in trapping a virus’s aerosol microparticles through static attraction.
Cotton is an important fabric in masks, especially the part that touches your skin. Our masks have a firm outer pre-filtering fabric, and on your skin is a soft, pliable cotton fabric that filters and breathes extremely well -the sweet spot of perfection.
- ◄Do you have synthetic fabric in your masks for electrostatic Virus Trapping?
Yes. Static cling is an important source of trapping (filtering) efficiency for aerosol particles in the air. Each of our masks has poly threads that provide static cling.
Synthetic fibers are derived from plastic. The static cling that happens when you rub two pieces of poly fabric together works to trap incoming and outgoing microscopic droplets. It will lose its electrostatic charge when you wash it, but you can recharge it by ironing it or by rubbing it with a plastic glove.
- ◄Do you sell cloth face masks for kids?
Yes. All of our reusable masks can be purchased in child’s sizes, and we have many designs just for kids. Depending on their size, a small or medium are recommended. We have masks for everyone, men, women, youth, and children.
- ◄Are your cloth face masks good for people who wear glasses?
Yes. The problem people face is fogging, and this is caused by a gap between the face and the mask. The larger the gap size, the more the problem.
The key is to have a mask that has a firm, but bendable nose bridge sealing strip molded around the nose and onto the cheek bones. Then, if the ear loops are not pulled too tight (this is not a problem with our reusable masks, they are adjustable), just wiggle the nose strip back and forth while wearing you glasses or sunglasses until you don’t get any fogging. Now your fit is made good, and you won’t have any problems with the mask dropping or slipping down off the nose, either.
Note: People who don’t wear glasses could try on some sunglasses to check for fogging, as this is an excellent way to test the fit for optimum protection against infection.
- ◄How important is a nose wire (nose sealing strip) in a cloth mask?
- It’s very important for several reasons:
- Without a nose sealing strip, aerosols and small particles can bypass the filter. This makes it dangerous and can cause the spread of infection.
- Have you seen people (or yourself) constantly lifting their mask up because it dropped down? A strong fitted nose strip keeps this from happening.
- A properly fitted mask requires less touching. you can spread an infection, even to yourself (by touching your mouth, nose or eyes with your fingers) if your mask has become contaminated from your environment, and you have just touched it, unless you disinfect your fingers before touching anything else.
- People who complain: “The nose wire hurst my nose” are most likely wearing a mask that does not conform well to their face and/or they have cloth straps tied to the back of their head, which can pull the mask too tightly onto the face.
- ◄How important is an adjustable elastic strap on a cloth mask?
- We all come in different sizes and shapes. One size does not fit all when it comes to quality masks. To work properly, the mask must make a good seal all around the nose, cheeks, and chin. Without a good seal a virus can bypass the mask and infect a person. The adjustable elastic bands (or the optional lanyard accessory) serve two functions:
- When fitting your mask, the adjusting ring is slid back and forth to make sure the mask’s primary filter rests flat on your cheeks and around the edge of your chin and nose. This completes the seal.
- The elasticity maintains a constant and gentle pull on the mask, maintaining that important seal without causing discomfort. Whether you are talking, exercising, or just resting, the elasticity helps maintain that seal. That’s something non-elastic cloth straps cannot do for you.
- ◄Will the elastic of your masks hurt my ears?
Not likely, for two reasons. First, we use the wide (1/4”) elastic so the pressure against your skin is spread out over more area, then, we add extra elastic and make it adjustable so you can adjust the tension for a comfortable fit.
- ◄Are your cloth face masks available only online? Where can I buy them in a store?
We only have one brick-and-mortar factory outlet store. It is located at: 11627 Clark St. Unit 101, Arcadia, CA 91006.
Visit our store for un-listed specials!
- ◄Do you make customized masks?
- There are several ways we can help you. We can embroider or imprint masks, and we can make masks with the covering fabric of your choice. Contact Us with your interests.
- ◄Can you make a cloth face mask with a head strap? The elastic on my mask hurts my ears.
- Our reusable masks have elastic with adjustability and wide bands to prevent this pain. But yes, we can make a mask with elastic that goes around your head, just enter your special request in the notes section during checkout. You may prefer, however, to simply add our lanyard which may serve the purpose for you just fine.
- ◄Why do you only make the pleated style of masks?
- Early on, we only made the beak shape of mask. Then when we learned:
- how difficult it is to get a good seal with this type of mask,
- that they hold lots of exhaled air inside them,
- how they tend to fall down off the nose, and
- how they hold heat.
- It is for these reasons we decided to make only the flat, pleated style that eliminates these issues.
- ◄Will you be selling cloth face mask extenders or ear savers?
- Because our reusable masks already come with long elastics and have adjustability, and we have lanyards available to ‘save the ears’, our customers never have asked for extenders. When they start asking, we may provide them.
- ◄What kind of filter is in your masks?
My BFF Masks are at the top-quality level for washable and reusable cloth mask, employing 3 layers to work for you.
They employ a layer of comfortable tight-weave cotton fabric against the face, a top choice to control the COVID-19 spread. It is a rare textile to obtain. It has a vertical, dense tight weave which provides many obstructions in the pathway for particles to get trapped.
It has some stretch to it so it will form-fit to the face with adjustable ear elastic bands and includes a nose bridge sealing strip for a good seal.
My BFF Masks are pocket masks. We include 5 filtering inserts cut from of ToolBox brand shop towels that filter well and are very breathable.
They have a tight woven colorful cover layer to start the protection process, trapping large and medium size (larger than 5 microns) droplets.
All layers together still provide excellent breathability. Shining a flashlight or sunlight through this mask will show NO sparkles of light through it.
My BFF Masks also contain synthetic fibers that have anti-static properties which scientists have proven to be a great benefit.
It is important to note that the experts generally make their advice based on a “Anything is better than nothing” approach in formulating their advice.
We believe that they resist providing guidance on how to optimize your protection with better quality masks because most of the country might find that the best solutions are in short supply and/or considered too expensive. They don’t want to make it too hard for the public to “At least do something to make us safer.” It’s the lowest common denominator approach.
- ◄Are your insertable filters necessary?
- It depends… The first (inside) layer of our 3-layer (or 3-ply) mask with a filter pocket is a special high-density filtering fabric that filters very sell on its own.
Some users, at their own discretion, use the mask as a 2-layer mask sometimes and choose to insert the middle filter only when they believe they may be infected themselves, or when they feel they need the extra protection from others.
- ◄Do you sell the PM2.5 filter inserts?
- No, we don’t. We have found that they just don’t work that well, even though they are popular.
- ◄Do you sell Lanyards?
- Yes, we do, and there are many benefits to their use:
- No digging in your pockets and bags.
- Avoid your mask touching the germ filled ground.
- Easy-on-, Easy-off.
- Never lose your mask.
- The Simple, Light Mask Strap works with ANY ear loop mask You Own.
- Use as an ear-saver
Some people find that to make a good seal without having the ear elastics too tight, they can use our lanyards to pull the mask tight with the lanyard rather than wrapping the elastics around their ears.
Our lanyards aren’t fancy, but they may just do the trick for you.
- ◄What about masks that contain copper or silver?
- These metals came into fashion when the scientific testing for survival of viruses on surfaces was complete. If the metals are in the form of nanoparticles firmly attached to the fabric, they can be effective. To be relied on there should be ASTM microbe testing or equivalent, and wash durability performed.
These studies had nothing to do with what happens to a virus as it quickly passes by metal threads on its way through a mask. They were a fad.
- ◄Why don’t you sell the neck gaiter style masks?
- We might start selling them (as 2-layer) sometime, but for now we are sticking to just the pleated style. Note: The gaiter style masks have a bad reputation because almost all of them are at the bottom of the list for filter efficiency.
- ◄Why don’t you sell cloth face mask with the round circle valve or vent?
- All the scientific experts and medical doctors strongly advise against their use. These devices are vents that cause everyone with a communicable disease to blow infectious agents out without any filtering. They are never recommended for use in medical applications, such as slowing the spread of a disease, especially a pandemic.
- ◄Why don’t you sell cloth face mask liners/spacers?
- It’s for these reasons:
- Since they are not attached to the mask, they easily fall out of place.
- They are made of hard plastic and are uncomfortable on the skin.
- They cause the mask to build up heat, so they are too hot to wear for many.
- They hold a significant amount of exhaled air to be re-inhaled.
- ◄How do I take care of my mask?
- Pease Click Here to see our use and care guidance.
- ◄I’ve been looking for advice on how to wear a mask. Can you help?
- Pease Click Here to see our use and care guidance.