The Dr. B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Jalandhar has developed a cost-effective, ‘breathable’ and reusable face mask for community use and has transferred the technology to two companies for mass production. The mask, developed by Vinay Midha and A Mukhopadhyay of the department of textile technology, is made of a fabric of cotton and polyester fibres.

The mask is breathable, water-repellent and anti-bacterial, and can be reused even after 30 home washes. The shape of the mask is similar to N95,which gives sufficient space for talking and breathing, Midha told a top Indian newspaper.

The masses do not need N95 masks like doctors and doctors and healthcare professionals, the researchers feel.

The team tried to maintain an optimal balance between the protection level and breathing resistance of the masks so that it can be worn by most for a longer duration, said Mukhopadhyay. The institute has applied for a patent.

The technology was recently transferred to Singla Engravures Pvt Ltd in Ghaziabad and Meditex Industries Private Limited, a start-up under the NIT Jalandhar Technology Business Incubator.