If you're looking for an effective face mask, new research suggests that it needs at least two layers of fabric to work properly. If your mask doesn't have two layers, it's possible that it's entirely ineffective.
When it comes to homemade masks, this study concludes that just one layer of fabric won't cut it in protecting you against the coronavirus.
Using an LED light system paired with a high-speed camera, the study aimed to film the movement of particles while subjects spoke, coughed, and sneezed.
The subjects exhibited no respiratory illnesses, hoping to mimic a "normal" reaction.
The team rated the efficacy of three different cloth masks as well as a three-ply surgical mask. While the surgical mask out-performed the others, the more layers each mask had, the more effective it proved to be.
In fact, the single-layer masks proved to barely impede the spread of particles at all.
Meanwhile, the modes of sewing also had an effect on the data, proving that masks sewn according to CDC guidelines were more effective than the single-ply masks made with cotton coverings paired with hair ties.
That said, if you're opting for a DIY face mask, you may want to double check that there are enough layers between your mouth, nose, and the outside air.