While Professional protective masks, (categories FFP2 and FFP3) should be reserved for healthcare professionals or people with acute conditions, it is now becoming apparent that even simple face masks can be useful in the fight against COVID-19.

Noted health experts such as the president of the German Medical Association, now advise the general public to wear masks when out of the home (NTV, March 26, 2020). These masks do not protect directly against infection, but they could reduce the risk of infecting others or yourself. Namely by reducing the airflow when talking, sneezing, or coughing. They also discourage individuals from directly touching their faces particularly the mouth and nose; the areas nearest to the mucous membranes.

In Asia, the wearing of a mask is more commonplace. It’s seen to be less about self-protection and more about being a courtesy to others.

Over the next few months, here in the UK, we are also likely to see the act of mask-wearing become normalised, particularly if as is likely, wearing a face-covering becomes mandatory on certain types of public transport, for example. We therefore assume that a large number of the masks used will not be “medical masks”, but simple, less tight-fitting, more comfortable fabric masks.

At this point, the fabrics available from DPM meet these requirements:

  1. The fabrics can be printed on both transfer and direct. These dyes are already used in the clothing industry. Please check the skin compatibility dyes with your supplier.
  2. Knitted construction, easily cut with no fraying.
  3. With automatic cutting equipment, the mask can be cut to include the ear bands, which will mean no sewing is required.
  4. The finished product is washable at up to 90° C (and considered sterilised at 75° C).
  5. All fabrics are tested and meet the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX product class 2 (Safe for Skin contact).
  6. Vision mask meets class 1 (Safe for skin contact, even babies and toddlers)

The following items are already used by our customers:

  • Vision Mask – (Class 1)
  • Vision Soft Coated Display – Our Soft 212gsm Polyester (Class 2)
  • Vision Botex – Very Soft with a brushed side for comfort while wearing (Class 2)
  • Vision Elastic – Lots of stretch in all directions (Class 2)

For all fabrics, we recommend washing the finished masks before wearing, both to improve comfort and for hygiene.

We are also currently working on the development and certification of additional antibacterial / antiviral materials – update to follow.

Please contact us for further information and data sheets for the products.

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