This is the best fabric for DIY face masks, according to science

Scientists now say they know the best material for DIY face masks.

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted a heated debate over the efficacy of DIY masks made of materials commonly found at home. Now, a new study published in the journal Physics of Fluids on Tuesday claims to have found the optimal homemade mask design.

Researchers compared four makeshift face-mask styles, which they considered accessible options for most: a bandanna tied over the nose and mouth; a loosely folded handkerchief; a cone-style commercial mask; and a fitted, sewn mask made of two layers of quilting fabric.

Much to the delight of many an American grandmother, the quilt fabric performed best as a protective shield against respiratory droplets.

“While there are a few prior studies on the effectiveness of medical-grade equipment, we don’t have a lot of information about the cloth-based coverings that are most accessible to us at present,” said study author Siddhartha Verma, assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University in a statement.

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