Face masks have accompanied us for centuries. Numerous excavations testify to its origin. The oldest face masks date back to the 6th century BC. These were images of people who had their mouths covered with cloth depicted on the doors of Persian tombs. China has early records from the Yuan dynasty of some sort of silk and gold thread scarf that was quite similar to today’s masks. There is also a record of similar masks by Marco Polo, who was traveling to China at the time and saw that the emperor’s servants had their mouths and noses covered while serving meals. Similarly, wearing masks for mitigating the spread of diseases in Europe dates back to the 14th century. The key inventor of face masks was the French physician Charles de Lorme two centuries later. It was a leather mask that covered the entire face. The mask had eyeglasses for better visibility and a pointed beak soaked with perfume, fragrances or herbs to prevent unpleasant odors and infections. Later, this outfit which also included a dress and thumb, became a popular costume in stage performances, carnivals, etc. The original mask is still preserved and is housed in the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin.
The modern design of today’s mask however began in the 19th century. In 1827, a Scottish scientist first theoretically demonstrated the protective effect of dust masks and the first patented face mask dates back to 1848. It was a face mask for miners made by Lewis Hassley and was a milestone in the history of face masks. However, these masks were reminiscent of gas masks and not like the ones we wear today. The most recent design of masks, as we know them today, was a design from French doctor, who in 1861 first proved the presence of bacteria in the air. It was a mask that was made of layers of gauze and sewn to the collars of the surgical gown. This later gradually developed into a mask that was tied to the ears. Thus over the years, a modern mask has slowly evolved due to many infectious diseases and air pollution, in order to best protect people from many influences.
Over the past few months, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the face mask has become a constant in our daily lives. Almost all countries have unanimously decided to impose a mandatory usage of face masks on public places, especially indoors and large gatherings. To protect ourselves and others, we also started fabricating stylish and attractive face masks. The masks are made of two layers, the front layer is of harder, durable decorative cotton material, and the back layer is made of soft cotton, which makes them more comfortable to wear. The masks are washable and reusable. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have tested a wide range of materials for making washable masks and among all the tested materials, inlet cotton performed the best. Two layers of inlet cotton filtered as much as 92.06% of the dust particles. Be protected and stay healthy by using our protective masks.