My Basket
Call us on 0113 242 9378

The Role of the Embroidery Industry During COVID 19

The Role of the Embroidery Industry During COVID 19

For a lot of people, the compulsory use of face masks in public places, such as shops, bars and restaurants, has been a big change to get used to. However, for a lot of industries, it has provided an opportunity for them to give back and help in any way they can.

The embroidery industry in particular has been instrumental in crafting masks for everyone. Learn more about it here.

Kids In Facemasks

The Difference Between Cloth and Medical Grade Masks

There are various materials being used to create masks, but the differences between a basic cloth and medical-grade are an important consideration for any mask making company. Thankfully, there have been a number of studies released regarding the best material types to use for crafting masks:

  • The most effective homemade face masks are those made with tightly woven fabric and provided a good seal along the edges.
  • Bandanas were not found to be effective.


This is a troubling realisation since official channels are reporting that any kind of face covering is acceptable, though it has been proven that those constructed from certain fabrics will fail to offer the individual and the public any protection.

A more complex breakdown of materials and their effects can be found in one of the latest submissions to the Physics of Fluids journal: Visualising the Effectiveness of Face Masks in Obstructing Respiratory Jets. An especially useful table from this study details the following results:

Mask Type Material Threads/in. Average Jet Distance
Uncovered ... ... ∼8 ft

Elastic T-shirt


85 ∼3 ft 7 in.



Cotton   55

1 ft 3 in.

Stitched Mask



70  2.5 in
Commercial Masks Unknown


Assorted Fibres

8 in

Fibre Facemasks

Pay attention to the ‘average jet distance’ section – this is the distance that particulate matter is carried from the mouth of the individual following a heavy cough. The tilde sign on the bandana tells you that the results taken varied quite wildly. In this case, the 3ft and 7inches travelled could pose quite a problem in places where individuals are walking about, as they could move into a cloud of potentially dangerous matter that has yet to drop to the floor.

Overall, of the homemade masks being made and used by the wider public, understanding the differences in threads/inch, the fit of the mask, and the type of material is very important. Quilting cotton has been shown to be one of the better solutions for a homely mask, with only 2.5 inches travelled by particulates.

Of course, properly fitted medical-grade masks are still the best option for individuals, but these are understood to be most effective when the individuals wearing them have undergone the proper training in how to use them.

Facemask Assortment

Beautified Masks and Alternative Fittings

For those who struggle wearing masks, beautified options may make them more attractive. Getting fussy children to wear masks could be easier if the mask displays a favourite character, for example. Alternative attachments for the mask may also prove useful, as some individuals complain of irritation behind the ears. As such, masks that are fitted around the entire head may reduce irritation or specially made caps with hooks for the mask straps to attach to.

Regarding mask options for those working with deaf communities, small transparent plastic films have been used over the lips area to permit lip reading. Originally, these had a tendency to fog up, but it was soon discovered that coating the plastic in a soap solution before usage reduced the fogging for a time.

For many, beautified masks are an expression of identity and fashion. Bridal masks covered in a layer of lace are an important part of helping brides to feel that their weddings can still be beautiful. For others, it’s about designs and colours that make them feel a bit happier in these dark times.

Bride Wearing Facemask

For more information regarding the effectiveness of different materials, shapes, and designs, why not consider the following articles by ZSK?

If you or your company are in the market for machines that can make and improve masks, you should contact us for more information regarding our industrial embroidery machines. We have plenty of options, including specialised machines with a range of attachments and our expert advice.