So you've bought a designer fabric face mask which you can wash and reuse. Well done to you.
But, I have a question and a challenge for you: How good is the quality of your reuseable fabric face mask?
You probably did your research and read that it's best to buy a face mask made with three layers of fabric, and yes, the amount of layers in face mask is important but the most important factor is how finely woven the fabric of each layer is.
Unfortunately it's useless having three layers of a loosely woven fabric for your face mask as particles can still pass through these loosely woven fabrics. To understand this, picture the loosely woven muslin cloth one uses used for straining liquids, these loosely woven fabrics won't stop moisture droplets moving them through them, and so the same is true for loosely woven fabric used in three layered face masks.
How do you test to see if your face mask passes the quality challenge?
Test no. 1:
Find a lamp which emits a strong light when the bulb is switched on. Hold your face mask up to the light and see if the light shines through your face mask. Can you see filtered light shining through? Can you see any areas where light is shining through or is the fabric blocking every little bit of light?
Watch the video to see how to test the quality of your mask.
If there is absolutely no light shining through, well done your face mask has passed the first of two tests.
If your face mask does have light shining through it, move onto the next test to see if your mask passes the airflow test.
Test no.2 :
Find a candle and light it. With your face mask on, take a deep breathe and blow the candle out.
If you managed to blow the candle out, unfortunately its's not good news.
If you couldn't blow the candle out, well done your face mask passes the Bill Nye test. Watch his test here.
I guess the best news of all is that our face masks get 100% for both tests even though they are made from two layers of cool and comfortable finely woven organic cotton, and not three layers of loosely fabric.