In 2020, the world was knocked into a new course due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And as we pick ourselves up and ease ourselves back into our day-to-day activities, experts have sounded alarms urging users not to stop wearing their masks.
We’ve seen all types of masks, from the conventional N-95 mask to clothe masks made by from different types of fabric, your mask can be as stylish as you!
What you need to know about Silk Face Masks
At the height of the pandemic, N-95 masks became in short supply and supply was restricted only to essential workers. The public still needed the mask and ended up having to improvise by using any and fabric to make masks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, effective masks against COVID-19 are those that half the transference of the virus by preventing aerosol droplets from escaping and blocking the inhalation of the virus via the mouth and the nose.
Researching Silk as a viable mask material
In September, a group of researchers, published a study evaluating the properties of silk face masks to test its efficacy as an effective raw material. This study, published in PLOS one saw the scientists test multiple masks with aerosolized spray and tested the water droplet permeability of each material.
Other materials that featured within the study are cotton and polyester and in order to get the most accurate results, the researchers used them as masks and covers for other masks. The results? Ski face masks came out tops with the ability to prevent any penetration of aerolized droplets meaning it had a higher hydrophobicity than polyester and cotton. The researchers also used and re-washed all the materials as part of their experiment, the silk face cover still came out on top.
According to researchers, “Although respiratory masks are still the most appropriate form of protection, silk face masks possess properties that make them capable of repelling droplets”
Silk has also featured within the medical industry in other means. Sutures used by doctors are made from silk and this new development has spurred more research into how it can be used in even more ways.
Silk face masks over everything else
To answer a question like what makes silk mask better for face protection, we have to consider how silk is made. This material is made by caterpillars before they go on to become butterflies and moths. A specific caterpillar ‘Bombyx Mori’ currently powers majority of the world’s silk production today. Silk is produced when these caterpillars create cocoons out of silk as a means of self-preservation.
But silk is not only beautiful and hydrophobic. It also possesses other amazing inherent features like the fact that it is antibacterial, antimicrobial and naturally antiviral. Silk has all these benefits because its creators have been known to consume copper-rich mulberry leaves which leads to a high copper presence in their bodies which is also transmitted to the silk. This copper which is also found in food prevents oxidative damage.
And when researchers attempted to simply combine copper with other types of fabric, they found out that the only way it could work was if copper was added during the manufacturing of the fabrics. A process that would be too expensive and too time consuming.
Benefits of silk face masks
- It stops skin irritation and acne that is caused from mask irritation
- It is perfect if you wear your masks for a longer period of time, because of the soft feel silk has, it is a preferred option to the disposable, polyester and abrasive cotton masks around in the market now.
- Silk face masks have with full, adjustable ear loops that are comfortable and possess silicone stoppers to ensure they are kept in place securely.
Wearing your silk face mask to prevent covid
According to professionals, the best way to wear your silk face mask is to increase the number of layers you have on. Choose to double or triple the amount of silk masks you have on or pair your mask with the conventional N-95 mask, your body will thank you.
Can I buy any type of silk face masks?
With other types of masks, you might not have had to bother with the thread count. But with silk mask for face, you might need to pay attention to it. Because of how they are made, silk face mask come in different textures and thread count meaning you need to ask questions before making that purchase.
It is important to note that silk is not satin. Satin is not a fabric but it is a weave used in the finishing process of many materials. Silk could be sewn into satin but satin fabrics could be made from polyester meaning you do not have all the benefits silk provides.
This singular fact is why you need to ensure you are buying silk-based masks and not silky masks.
Cleaning silk face mask to stop COVID
Taking care of your silk face mask is not as straight forward as tossing it into the washer when you are done with it. Taking care of silk garments requires a bit more consideration than what you would give to your cotton garments.
Silk is susceptible to damage from heat and a prolonged stay within your washer and dryer could cause your silk face mask to lose its texture and shape. The same can happen if you handwash then dry in direct sunlight. The best way to take care of your mask is to follow whatever directions given to you by the manufacturer.
A great way to clean your mask however is to handwash gently in cold water and dry in a place not under direct sunlight.
You cannot go wrong with silk. It’s soft feeling on the face and its hydrophobic nature means you can be safe and be very comfortable and stylish! Remember to double or triple up on your masks to get the best protection against the virus.