How To Choose Elastic For Nonwoven Earloop Fabric Masks

Jun 16, 2023 | News

Nonwoven fabric masks have become extremely popular during the COVID-19 pandemic as an alternative to woven cloth masks. Nonwoven fabrics are made from various fibers and threads bonded together with polymers or adhesives. These fabrics are often as used in disposable personal protective equipment like medical masks and earloop face masks.

Dot PP Non Woven Face Masks

One important component of nonwoven fabric masks is the elastic used for the earloops. Choosing the right elastic is essential for comfort, durability and mask performance. Here are some factors to consider when selecting elastic nonwoven fabric earloop material:

Elastic Width And Thickness

Narrow elastic of around 5 to 7 mm wide is typically used for mask earloops. Wider elastic can bunch up and cause discomfort. As for thickness, 0.8 to 1.2 mm thickness elastic is common for earloops. Thinner elastic is more flexible and lightweight but less durable. Choose elastic thickness based on how much stretch and strength you need.

Material – Polyester Or Spandex?

Both polyester and spandex are popular elastic materials for nonwoven mask earloops. Polyester elastic is more economical and tends to retain its shape better over time. However, spandex is typically softer and more comfortable against the skin. It also has better elastic recovery compared to polyester.

If comfort is a top priority, go with soft spandex elastics. But for a balance of comfort, value and durability, a polyester/spandex blend elastic can work well. Test out different elastic materials to see what will work best for your specific mask design.

Elastic Elongation – 100% to 200%

The ability of the elastic to stretch, known as elongation, affects how comfortable and secure the mask fit will be. Nonwoven mask earloop elastic should typically have between 100% to 200% elongation. Higher elongation elastics of around 150% to 200% provide a better stretch fit but may lose their shape faster over time.

Experiment with different elongation elastic to dial in the tightness of fit you want for your mask. Higher elongation is good for larger face sizes while lower stretch elastic works better for smaller or medium faces.

Seamless Tubing Or Flat Elastic

You can use either seamless tubular elastic or flat elastic strips for nonwoven mask earloops. Tubular elastic often slides through the earloop channel holes easier and provides a smoother edge. However, flat elastic strips are more economical and just as effective if folded over at the ends.

Test samples of both seamless tubing and flat elastic to see which version provides the fit, comfort and durability you need for your specific mask design. There are pros and cons to each elastic type.