credit: ACS Nano 2020

Are the home-made fabric masks effective towards Covid-19 pandemic?

Due to the scarcity of surgical or even more protective masks, many people are making their own coverings out of fabric. Now a preliminary study carried out by scientists at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory has said that masks made of a combination of high thread-count cotton with natural silk fabric or a chiffon weave can effectively filter out aerosol particles, if the fit is good.

The study has been published in ACS Nano. «There is a huge interest and need for homemade cloth masks, but we found little data on how good various fabrics are as filters for masks,» said senior author Supratik Guha, professor with the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering and a scientist at Argonne. «According to these results, it’s possible to get very good filtering with commonly available fabrics, but the wearer only gets maximum protection if the fit is very close to your face».