The coronavirus pandemic has been with us for several months now and it may stay with us for several more months still. The designer Nathon Kong, trained in microbiology, released a collection of washable silk & cotton face masks with pocket filter | Limited Edition designs by artists with mental health.
The design of the face mask is based on scientific research and uses the most efficient fabrics for filtrering aerosol (that is, airborne) particles. These masks are made in Québec with mulberry silk and premium cotton. These materials are expensive, but provide the best filtration for protection during the COVID19 pandemic and optimal comfort to wear.
There are several reasons Nathon Kong masks use silk and premium cotton in their design:
Mulberry Silk is the highest quality Silk available in the world
Pure mulberry silk is the highest quality silk in the world. It is also the most expensive. Prices average one hundred and eighteen dollars per yard. For comparison, the price of Chausmer silk is about eighty dollar per yard.
The process of making mulberry silk can take weeks. The fabric is harvested from the cocoons spun by silkworm larvae in India and China during their metamorphosis into moths. The silkworms are fed mulberry leaves so they can produce the silk they spin the cocoons with.
However, the extra work and the resulting price are well worthwhile. Because of its smoothness, silk is kind on the skin. It also doesn’t absorb as much moisture as other fabrics, making it less susceptible to odors. This keeps the mask comfortable on your face throughout the day.
The Highest Quality and Softest Cotton
The majority of cloth masks are made of cotton, but premium cotton differs from other types because of its greater fiber length. This makes premium cotton softer, more comfortable, and more durable. It also maintains its softness after being washed. Cheaper cottons wear down when they are washed. As face masks should be washed after every use, premium cotton face masks will maintain their luster for longer than other masks made from other types of cotton.
Silk and Premium Cotton Combined adds a Greater Filtering Capacity
According to the American Chemical Society, a mask made out of a combination of fabrics like cotton and silk can block eighty to ninety percent of airborne particles. This variation depends on the size of the particle. Coronavirus particles are tiny, ranging from fifty to one hundred-fifty nanometer. Masks of a lesser quality will struggle to keep airborne coronavirus particles out. Most cloth masks are made out of just cotton. When weaved together, this provides an initial barrier between the wearer and airborne particles. An added layer of silk provides an additional electromagnetic filter. Certain fabrics such as natural silk produce an electric charge, which captures electrically charged particles. The combination of cotton and silk working together creates an even greater filtering capacity in face masks.
Nathon Kong masks also include a slot between the two layers of fabric to add a filter for additional protection.
A Face Mask that is Washable
Unlike with disposable face masks, the materials that make the Nathon Kong face masks are more durable and resistant to odor accumulation. They can thus be reused rather than thrown out.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it is recommended that you wash the mask after every use. With Premium cotton and mulberry silk, the best recommendations are to wash the masks by hand under lukewarm water and a little bit of soap. After washing, the mask should be dried outdoors in the open air rather than in a clothes dryer to keep the integrity of the fabrics.
Watch the video Washing Reusable Silk Mask here.
The Mask you Want to Wear, Celebrating Montreal Artists
Each Nathon Kong face mask is a reproduction of an artwork made by an artist coping with mental health issues. While being more colorful than ordinary cloth masks, each mask is made in limited supply to create pieces that are unique, stands out, and tells the story of an artist with a unique recovery journey through the creation of art.
10% of the profits made from the sale of silk face masks are given back to Les Impatients, a nonprofit organization that supports artists with mental health troubles through therapeutic art programs.