It’s an unusual site in Western Europe to see people out and about wearing face masks – but sadly its becoming all to common. In Italy it’s very common now, in Germany it’s recommended you wear one when you go out and France has just ordered 1 billion masks!
They are also now starting to appear in the UK but have you ever wondered how you make 1 billion masks? There is a surprising amount of tehnology in modern face masks and long gone are the days when a tied linen handkerchief would suffice. Today’s masks have multiple layers designed to filter and remove moisture from the wearer. Many are shaped to fit the contours of the face to give a seal thus preventing contaminated air in at the sides. One of the most important layers uses as material know as melt-blown polypropylene – this material acts as the main filter and should prevent viruses such as corona viruses going through. The price for this material has increase 1000 fold over the past two weeks and is one reason why masks have increased so much in price.
Smaller factories traditionally make and sew them by hand but larger factories have sophisticated robotic production lines capable of producing over 50,000 masks a day from a single line. The attached video comes from one of our main suppliers of facemasks.