Did you know that there is a pocket in between the layers of a Nathon Kong silk face mask? This slot allows an additional filter to be inserted between the layers of your face mask for added protection. There are several different options for filters that are effective in containing the coronavirus disease. The quality of these filters depend on how well it can capture aerosol particles while allowing the wearer to breathe.
Here are our recommendations for the best filters to use with a Nathon Kong silk face mask.
1. Surgical and Medical Masks
N95, surgical, and medical masks should be worn only by medical professionals treating patients with COVID-19. Non-medical staff are discouraged from purchasing these masks as supplies should be reserved for those working close with COVID-19 patients. Surgical masks remain as the best filter for airborne particles. Health care professionals that have access to these masks can insert medical masks into the pockets of a Nathon Kong silk face mask to stay protected while still wearing a mask that is fashionable.
2. Coffee Filter or Tea Filter
Since medical masks are reserved for medical professionals, each Nathon Kong face mask comes with a coffee filter already included in the pocket between the two layers of fabric. Coffee filters and tea filters are the most widely recommended filter to be used in a protective face mask. Their shape is ideal for covering the entire mouth and they have the best filtration capacity out of household materials. Coffee filters accumulate moisture and can only be used once before needing to be discarded.
3. HEPA Filters and Vacuum Bags
Credit: Upstart Appliance Parts
HEPA filters are made to be very effective in containing particles in the air. They are commonly used in vacuum filters. They are highly effective mechanical filters that block over 95 % of all particles as small as 0.3 microns. HEPA filters also allow for easy breathability.
There is some debate on the usefulness of HEPA filters and vacuum bags as face mask filters. Some doctors recommend making homemade masks from vacuum bags. Others warn that some vacuum bags are made with pieces of fiberglass. Not all vacuum bags are made this way, but inhaling fiberglass can be dangerous, especially if the bag is cut to be used as a filter as it releases the chemicals that make up the bag. If you plan to use a vacuum bag as a filter, check to make sure it does not contain any harmful materials in them.
Credit: Darby Home Co.
The fabric that most pillowcases are made from have shown to be a very effective air filter that you can find at home. Scientists found that pillowcases filter about 60% of aerosol particles when folded in four layers. Pillowcases can also be washed and reused.
5. Paper Towels
Paper towels are probably the most accessible material that can be used as a filter. A team of researchers at Smart Air Filters tested how effective several household fabrics were at filtering microscopic particles and how easy it was to breath through each fabric. They concluded that paper towels offered an ideal balance between filtration and breathability. The researchers recommend using paper towels in combination with other materials while making a homemade face mask.
Our collection of reusable mulberry silk face masks made with a pocket for an added filter. Each mask was made in Montreal by local artisans working safely from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.