As the pandemic rolls on, face masks have become an essential tool in our defences to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
There’s been a lot of research into the optimal fabrics for face masks that’s led to a growing popularity for silk. So what are the key reasons a silk face mask is becoming a favourite choice by both wearers and healthcare professionals? Read on.
Why Silk Is One Of The Best Materials For Face Masks
It has high hydrophobicity (water repelling) qualities. This means it has high resistance to the penetration of water droplets - an important transmission method for the virus causing Covid-19.
- Silk is a natural non-absorbent fibre that is inherently anti-bacterial and anti-allergic. This is particularly helpful for those with sensitive or problem-skin (or “macne” - acne that’s caused by long-term mask-wearing of cotton, polyester or tissue face masks). .
It is a lightweight fabric that is comfortable and dry to wear - a must for hot, humid weather conditions.
It causes less friction against the skin, reducing irritation and accompanied face touching.
- Silk can be repeatedly washed and reused yet continues to retain its anti-absorption qualities - its main advantage compared with other fabrics.
In summary, silk has long been recognised as a medically useful material. It is naturally strong, water (droplet) repellant and does not trigger allergic reactions the same way other common fabrics do.
Silk does not irritate the skin or increase local humidity around the face making it suitable for prolonged wear (it's one of the reasons why silk pillowcases are so popular!).
Bear in mind that all face masks are not created equal though There is a lot to consider: protection level, fit, comfort and for some, aesthetics matter, as does a mask’s wearability, durability, and washability. Choose a mask that is comfortable for your face shape - ideally one that has adjustable straps and a nose wire that can easily be shaped to your face.
If you’d like to learn more about the laboratory-based studies examining the properties of silk fabric to evaluate its potential as a protective barrier for personal protective equipment and as a functional material for face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic, further reading is available here: