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Face Masks: Material Matters, for Safety and Comfort

May 8, 2020

Sports enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels know one thing for sure: if the clothes you wear aren’t comfortable, you can’t perform at your best. Fabrics that are breathable keep you cool and comfortable no matter how hard you play or how much you sweat. Breathable fabrics matter for non-medical face masks, too -- and we’re not just talking about your ability to breathe easily when wearing one.  

You’re wearing a face mask for safety reasons, to help protect others from virus particles or other potentially harmful germs you might exhale. So while the Centers for Disease Control says masks must “allow for breathing without restriction,” they also note that masks must fit well and be made of the right fabric.  

Sports fabric, for example.  

“Today’s polyester fibers are all about performance,” notes SquadLocker co-founder and CEO Gary Goldberg. “They are designed to help the wearer feel great while engaging in a variety of physical activities.” Dr. Susan Sokolowski agrees. She directs the University of Oregon’s sports product design master’s degree program. She says the inside fabric layer of a mask should be able to wick away moisture in your breath. She recommends “a comfortable, washable, tightly knitted fabric, such as polyester, nylon, or a spandex-cotton blend—think athletic clothes.” 

  • Fit matters because masks are most effective when they conform to your face without gapping. Polyester sports fabric is ideal – it is stretchy for comfort when you’re active, but it also retains its shape to gently hug your face and/or neck.  

  • Moisture wicking matters because you want your mask to absorb miniscule droplets of breath, capturing the potentially harmful particles and microbes, and then allow moisture to evaporate. Cotton might be “all-natural” and a great choice for many types of clothing, but not for sports. And not so much for masks, at least the layer that’s next to your face. Cotton not only absorbs moisture, it retains moisture, becoming damp or even soggy. No comfort there! 

But mask material has to be washable, too. Face masks must be laundered after every wearing, otherwise germs will continue to build up. The mask won’t be able to do its job – protecting people near you -- and every time you touch it you risk spreading infection. This is why it’s also important to wash your hands well after removing your mask. (It’s also why we recommend purchasing multiple masks, so you always have clean ones on hand.)  

The right material, in the right styles 

Teams and organizations know they can depend on SquadLocker for outstanding selection of top-quality products. And that includes community face masks. You can outfit your team with: 

  • Bandanna style face guards, made of 100% polyester moisture management/antimicrobial performance fabric. 

  • Gaiter style activity masks, made of 83% polyester/17% spandex moisture management fabric. 

  • Mask style face coverings made with 3-layer construction. A middle layer of pellon provides stability and extra protection, inner and outer layers are performance polyester designed for moisture management.  

But who wants a mask that’s all work and no play? At SquadLocker, we’re sports people, and we say . . . 

Decorate that mask!

You don’t wear bland, no-name uniforms or generic spirit wear, you want everyone to know who you are and who you root for! You choose team gear and related apparel in your team colors. You customize all that gear by decorating it with your name, your logo, everything that sets you apart. Of course, you want face masks that match. Like team-themed T-shirts and jackets, face masks show your true colors no matter where you go in public.  

You can order decorated masks for the whole roster or just a few folks. Everyone orders on their own through your store, everyone receives their own order right to their door. Simple. Easy. Fast. Just right.  

In the words of Coach Edwards from Goldsboro, North Carolina, “The quality of the product is out of this world. Everyone has something good to say about what we are wearing.” With custom-decorated community masks you can be sure your team is comfortable and safe and looking good, too. 


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