Face Masks - Frequently Asked Questions
You will find answers to frequently asked questions about our handmade non-medical grade face masks on this page. If you have a question that is not covered below please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
When should a fabric face mask be worn?
The UK Government has said everyone should wear a face covering while on public transport and when attending hospital as a patient or visitor. They also recommend people who can should "wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn't possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet" (Cabinet Office, 2020).
How do fabric face masks work?
A fabric face mask may slow the spread of the virus by preventing those who are carrying the virus without showing symptoms (someone who is a-symptomatic) from transmitting it to others. A cloth face mask provides an extra layer to help prevent droplets from travelling through the air and landing in other people's mouths or noses.
How should I put the face mask on?
- Wash your hands or if that is not possible, use hand sanitiser, before putting on your mask.
- Determine which side of the mask is the inside and which is the outside - the large pleat should be on the outside and the filter pocket is on the inside of the mask.
- Locate the flexible metal nose band and bend it slightly to make a curve shape then pop the mask over your mouth and nose and tuck each of the elastic loops behind your ears.
- Pull the mask up slightly to make sure your nose is covered and pull the mask down under your chin to ensure the pleat is fully extended.
- Next gently bend and shape he nose band to fit the contour of your own nose and ensure a good fit.
- If the loops do not stay behind your ears or pull them forward uncomfortably you may wish to try our larger size of mask, or if the mask seems too big you may require a smaller size. If one of our three sizes do not work for you please get in touch and we can create someone bespoke for you, this does not usually cost any extra.
- While wearing your mask try not to touch it or your eyes/face.
How should I remove my mask?
- Wash your hands or if that is not possible, use hand sanitiser, before removing your mask.
- To remove, unhook the loops from behind your ears.
- Try not to touch the front of the face mask once removed and store in a bag, away from other items, until you are able to wash it.
How should I wash my mask?
Our masks can be washed in the washing machine at 30 degrees - a hotter wash may cause the cotton fabric to shrink. We recommend gently straightening the nose band before placing in the washing machine and the use of non-biological washing powder or liquid to help maintain the colour of your mask. You could hand wash the mask with non-biological washing powder or liquid that is suitable for hand washing if you prefer. The mask should be reshaped while damp and air dried, please do not tumble dry. Do not forget to remove any filter before washing.
What size mask should I purchase?
We have four different sizes of mask available:
- Adult XL - 20cm x 9cm, expanding to approx 14cm - longer elastic
- Adult/Teen - 20cm x 9cm, expanding to approx 14cm
- Child Age 10-13 - 18cm x 8cm, expanding to approx 13cm
- Child Age 4-9 - 12cm x 8cm, expanding to approx 12cm
Our newest size of mask - Adult XL - has longer elastic loops to give a better fit for anyone with a wider face. The fabric part of the mask is the same size as our Adult/Teen mask - which is approximately 20cm x 9cm, expanding to 14cm when extended over the face.
If none of the sizes available are suitable please get in touch and we would be happy to create something bespoke for you.
What are the filters made from?
The filters that we sell have five different layers to filter dust and other substances from the air. Below is an explanation of the different layers:
- The first layer is a fabric called spunbond which can filter micron-level dust.
- The second layer filters industrial pollutants, car exhaust, second-hand smoke and pollen allergens.
- The third layer is of activated carbon cloth and filters micron-level dust.
- The fourth layer filters smaller materials.
- The fifth layer, also made from spunbond, filters out various harmful substances.
How do I insert the filter in to the fabric mask?
Please see the images below which show how to locate the filter pocket in our masks and then how to insert a filter.
Can the filters be re-used?
Our suppliers recommend the filter is changed every 50 to 60 hours when worn in a 'normal environment' to filter out allergens, odours and pollutants - for example at the supermarket or on public transport.
If the mask were to be worn to undertake activities that produce dust, such as DIY and construction, the life of the filter would be reduced and they therefore recommend it is changed more frequently (approximately every 25-35 hours).
The filter should not be washed - please remove it before machine or hand washing your mask.
Can I have my face mask made up in a different fabric?
We would be happy to make you a face mask in a different fabric - all of the designs found on our website as dog collars, leads and other accessories would be suitable for use as a face mask, provided we have some in stock, as we only use high quality 100% cotton in our workshop. If you have spotted something you like please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
Cabinet Office 2020, Staying safe outside your home, UK Government, viewed 18 June 2020, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-safe-outside-your-home