Microfiber dish cloths make the best DIY face masks, but polyester bandanas will do the job
As face mask coverings are becoming more ubiquitous with airlines such as JetBlue today making it mandatory for passengers to cover their mouth and nose, people are ripping up old clothes and fashioning their own face mask fashion for those rare trips outdoors.
Of course, not all fabrics are good, with some less breathable, others that retain too much spit droplets and others that are just plain ineffective.
"We knew that claims about masks and face coverings were exploding all over the internet, and we wanted to make sure that any decisions about materials ... will be based on proven science," David Caretti, who leads the effort as the chief of the Center's Chemical Biological Protection & Decontamination Division, said in a recent Army news release.
It turns out that one of the best DIY face mask fabrics is a 4-ply microfiber cloth like the ones typically sold for dish clothes, said the U.S Army Chemical Biological Centre. A piece of this cloth fashioned correctly into a face mask will protect against 75% of airborne droplets.
Of course, if you don't fancy the idea of wearing a dish cloth around your face, the same study found that polyester bandanas can protect against 40% or airborned droplets, which isn't bad for a last minute DIY face mask.
Uranta Mindful Clothing on the other hand has teamed up with one of its manufacturing partners in Mexico to produce a low cost, 2-layer polyester mask that is easy to take on and off, can be washed more than 50 times and is economical for employers to provide masks to their employees and customers without breaking the bank.
The Uranta Happy Face Mask is avaialable at www.uranta.ca, where there are 4 colors available and for an extra cost can be knit with a company logo.