If you have been wearing a face mask for awhile you know all elastic isn’t created equal. Many companies who sell cotton face masks are using latex elastic. Some people are allergic to latex and this kind of elastic could make your ears burn and itch. Latex elastic also can have a strong odor to it.
What size does elastic come in?
Elastic also comes in various widths from 1/8″ up to 2″ in width. For mask making the common size for latex elastic is 1/8″ or 1/4″. I fyou are using round elastic the common size for mask making is 2mm or 3mm.
Many mask makers are using 1/4″ flat braided latex elastic which is too thick to wear for long periods of time. It will rub on your ears and cause sores to form. Other mask makers using 1/8″ flat braided latex elastic, which is slightly better but you still have the same issue of the elastic being make out of latex and causing sores on your ears and neck.
We found that the best elastic is soft, round latex-free elastic and this is what we use. This elastic is what you will find in the official, medical, disposable surgical masks. The elastic is super stretchy and when wearing it, you will not be able to tell that you have anything on your ears. It is also very light-weight.
Another suggestion for making masks more comfortable is for the mask maker to user rubber bead adjusters. This allows for the elastic to be adjusted based on the person who is wearing the mask. Every person’s head size is different so there should be not a “one size fits all” approach when making a face mask. The mask maker should consider this and make the elastic adjustable.
What is braided latex elastic?
Braided latex elastic is made from rubber and polyester. Braided elastic has ribs that run the length of the elastic. This type of elastic often loses stretch when it is sewn or pierced with needles and pins. Braided elastic is ideal for using in casings such as garments with waistlines, sleeves, or necklines because it is sewn inside. Using braided latex elastic for ear loops is not suggested because it is rigid and hard.
What is round elastic?
Round Cord Elastic is a light and stretchy elastic cord that is very soft. It is great for crafting, sewing and DIY projects. Round elastic is often used for it’s light stretchability on garments and for ear loops on face masks. Round elastic is the type of elastic that is used on surgical mask that are wrong by health professionals.