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Protective face masks for the time of covid

At Lin + Quotidien, our motivation has always been to do our best, to offer the best product possible, to serve you, the customer, as well as possible and earn a living by doing what we do best as artisans. Our pure linen & pure cotton face mask is a quality product, one which we are proud to make and equally proud to offer. We believe that it provides the best protection afforded by a non-medical mask. In the process of our communications, we attracted the attention of a scientist and entrepreneur — Dr. Richard Bruno. It is thanks to his advice and input that we have improved how we make our natural fibre face masks.

“Your masks are excellent, and the closest to my research findings for protective face masks in terms of design and materials used,” Richard Bruno emailed me after he saw my website and wore one of my linen-cotton percale face masks. Dr. Bruno is also an Invited Fellow in Innovation Management Practices and Policies at CIRANO in Montreal .(https://www.cirano.qc.ca/en/community/directory/view/2234).

Let’s start at the beginning. Most importantly, our masks are based on the AFNOR model, the French Association for Standardization. Why AFNOR? Because their model is both simple and effective, and the national standard in France. Our mask opens up to form a shell that fits the contours of the face well, and it covers the nose, mouth and chin perfectly. We added a nose bar, which allows you to adjust the mask to fit securely around the bridge of your nose. The nose bar creates a good seal between the mask and your face: this minimizes the number of droplets that would enter or exit through gaps and, if you wear glasses, it reduces fogging on your glasses from the humidity in your breath. We also made the elastic bands that hold the mask around the ears adjustable by adding cotton loops at the bottom sides of the mask. This allows you to personalize the fit for your head shape and size. A proper fit means there is less leakage when breathing in or out, and just as important, it makes the mask very comfortable to wear.

We make the mask in two sizes to give you a product that works for the shape of your face.

“One thing I can assure you is that linen is one of the best, if not the best, natural fibre to use for masks: it keeps the skin fresh, minimizes moisture buildup and skin irritation, plus it has a strong capacity for the adsorption of droplets, ” said Dr. Richard Bruno.

Linen is what we’ve always used for our regular product line of aprons and assorted table linens. For our face masks, we also chose pure linen above all because of its exceptional properties. Linen is hypoallergenic and so it’s less likely that wearing our mask will irritate your skin. Linen is thermoregulatory, which means it will keep your skin cool, especially important on hot summer days. Linen has a high capacity for absorbing moisture and droplets and helps in curbing the spread of contagion. The linen we use has a density of 200 g per square metre or 6 oz per square yard.

And, as the best filtering companion for linen, we use pure white cotton percale. Percale is a weaving technique that results in a very tight and regular weave. It’s the fabric used to make duvet covers because its tight weave prevents even the finest of feathers and feather quills from piercing through the cloth. Also, cotton percale is a thin fabric that stays cool in the summer.

I will end by quoting from Dr. Bruno’s study, “Masks should be, by design, made with the right materials in layers. For example, the combination of an antimicrobial cotton fabric of 200 thread count for the two outer layers of the mask, and one inner layer made of linen, or the opposite. At a density of 200 g per square metre, the fabric improves filtration by around 30% compared to a surgical mask alone. However, this improvement remains valid only if the design of the mask offers the same quality of face-to-mask seal as a surgical mask does: that is, it minimizes infiltration at the level of the edges between the face and the mask.”

Next week, I will focus on the best practices for sterilizing a face mask. We will once again refer to the findings of Dr. Bruno.

 

 

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