In light of the recent worldwide shortage of surgical masks due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection, leading flat knitting solutions provider SHIMA SEIKI MFG., LTD. of Wakayama, Japan has released additional knitting data for producing another type of 3D knit mask on its WHOLEGARMENT knitting machines.
Data is meant to be for cotton masks knitted using 3D WHOLEGARMENT knitting technology that can produce items in their entirety without the need for sewing afterward. The masks can be knit on SWG041N2, SWG061N2 and SWG091N2, as well as on the rest of SHIMA SEIKI’s compact WHOLEGARMENT knitting machines also known as “WHOLEGARMENT Mini” type machines that are suited to the production of small accessory items, in 15 gauge. Mask data is available for download from the SHIMA SEIKI Users’ Site, an archive featuring over 10,000 knit samples for use by SHIMA SEIKI customers.
Seam-free 3D WHOLEGARMENT masks provide superior fit and comfort. Integral ear straps that are knitted along with the mask portion offers reduced stress on the ears, and require no further sewing for quick response production. Holes are also knitted-in for insertion of wires that provide further adjustment for improved fit.
The mask data is intended for knitting with the use of silver-fiber yarn, which has antibacterial properties. The filter-pouch that was featured on previously released WHOLEGARMENT masks is eliminated, allowing this mask to be knit with a single layer of fabric, making it thinner and lighter.
Knitted cotton masks can be washed and reused repeatedly. It should be noted however that unlike common non-woven surgical masks, knit masks do not have virus- and pollen-filtration functionality. Their main use is for the prevention of spray from coughing and sneezing, and for reducing exposure to airborne particles such as pollen.
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