As Above So Below
Using blue shop towels in homemade face masks can filter particles 2x to 3x better than cotton, 3 clothing designers discover after testing dozens of fabrics
Suay Sew Shop
Suay Sew Shop
- Lindsay Medoff, the CEO of Suay Sew Shop, a 30-employee boutique Los Angeles clothing manufacturer, wants the armies of people sewing homemade surgical masks to add a specific blue shop towel inside them.
- Medoff and two friends were appalled by the dozens of mask patterns calling for cotton, a highly breathable, permeable fabric, and became obsessed with finding a fabric better suited for the job. They built a lab that could test particle filtration down to 0.3 microns and tested every fabric they could find, from coffee filters to industrial materials.
- They discovered that by adding two blue shop towels and using a design that produces a tighter-fitting mask, they could make a mask that could block up to 95% of the particles they could test, while the cotton masks blocked 20% to 60% of the particles.
- These are not meant to replace the N95 masks worn by healthcare workers — they're designed to be an alternative to the cotton masks that many people are making and wearing for quick trips to the grocery store.
- The women are sewing 200,000 masks and giving them — and a design — away, as well as raising money to pay their workers their full wages.
- They're also raising money to get their mask tested with the actual COVID-19 pathogen to see whether their design could be validated as a safer solution during the mask shortage.