In case you missed the announcement, earlier this month we started offering custom branded face masks here at Real Thread, which is about the most 2020 swag item you could imagine.
With this product launch came a lot of excitement, a lot of interest, and a lot of questions –– like “I can print on masks?” and “What are these made out of?” and “Do non-medical masks even do anything?”
These are all valid questions as the popularity of face masks (particularly custom ones) went from 0–100 in about a day or two. With that, we want to make sure you’re informed, so in this post we’ll cover different mask materials, the level of protection they provide, and best practices for printing on them.
Weird, we know. We’ve stuck to strictly upper-body apparel for a long time here at Real Thread, and if you would have asked me what products we’d be adding to our offering, custom face masks would have been pretty low on the list.
But hey, that’s what the time calls for, so we’re here to provide and serve however we can.
Definitely. At Real Thread, we’ve long-specialized in water-based printing, a style in which the ink dyes the fabric of the material, rather than sitting on top of it.
So, instead of leaving a thick, crunchy print, you won’t even be able to feel the print on the material, making it just as breathable as it would be if there was no print at all.
100%. All of the masks on our site are able to be washed and re-worn. However, two of them in particular –– the Tultex FM19 and the Allmask –– are our best options for reusable masks. Both have stitching around the edges that will make them last a long time.
The other mask on our site –– this one from Bella+Canvas –– doesn’t have any stitching on it, so even though it is washable and re-wearable, it won’t last as many wears as the material is bound to get stretched out and the edges a bit frayed.
Fabric masks are not a 1-to-1 substitute for N95 medical-grade masks. However, with those masks in short supply, it’s best to save them for front line workers who are putting their health at risk daily. If you’re not a front line worker, we’d encourage opting for a washable, reusable fabric mask.
For most day-to-day uses like running to the grocery store or pharmacy, or working inside of a restaurant or a construction site, a washable mask will protect you and those around you quite well.
We have three masks on our website that are made out of three different materials.
Research done by Cambridge University found that, while all of these, materials do help, 100% cotton fabric does the best job of filtering, and will be the most effective option of the three.
If you’re planning on printing front and center on a mask, the printable area will likely be about 3" x 3".
If you’re planning on printing elsewhere, like on the side closer to the top or bottom, the printable area is going to be smaller and somewhat dependent on the design. To get an expert eye on it, talk to our team.
Or, if you’d like to ask further questions, click here to talk to our team. We’d love to help you get started.