FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DO I KNOW IF YOUR MASKS WILL FIT PROPERLY?
Our masks are one size fits most! The Kids fit is designed to fit most elementary schoolers.
If you think the size of your head and facial features may compromise fit or you want to get a more exacting idea of how our sale/retired fits will work on a diversity of faces, please see this guide.
WHY ARE YOUR MASKS PRICED AT $18?
We've been extremely thorough and thoughtful in calculating the time, labor, and costs that go into the construction of our masks. From leaving the iron on the 'cotton' setting for hours at a time to replacing rotary blades 3 times a week to buying thread, fabric, and packaging-- the list goes on, and it is LONG!-- expenses do add up. Though women's work is historically undervalued, we staunchly believe in paying ourselves fairly for our labor and time at a living wage. When a customer buys a mask at $18, your maskmaker keeps just below $10 to pay for her time/labor on making masks and providing customer service. The rest goes to fabric, supplies, maintenance of tools, and other overhead costs (e.g. website, url, and transaction fees).
Still, because we know that inequality affects incomes, we welcome you to pay what you are able! To learn more about what goes into pricing, read the pricing guidelines on the Pay What You Can page.
I DON'T MAKE ONLINE PURCHASES. CAN I PAY YOU WITH CASH?
Yes. To pay with cash at time of Pick Up, please select Manual Payment when you check out.
WHAT ARE YOUR MASKS MADE OF?
Our masks are made of two layers of high thread count 100% quilting cotton, 1/8" elastic, and a bendable fog-fighting nose bridge wire sewn into the hidden interior of the mask. They are NOT made of thin or sheer fabric or flannel and should not pill or itch with proper care.
DO YOU MAKE FILTER-POCKET MASKS, 3-LAYER MASKS, OR CURVED/OLSON/HATCHET MASKS?
Short Answer: No, not at this time (unless you custom order). We've found that a three-layer mask or a filter mask is just not breathable enough for southern summer weather. We may start sewing filter and 3-layer masks in the fall and winter depending on demand.
Long Answer: Maskmaker Maskmaker's master seamstress, Denise (who has been sewing for over 60 years) led the research and development of our mask pattern. After consulting with healthcare professionals and sewing up prototypes of nearly every pattern you can find, we ultimately settled on our own unique pattern. We also had a great opportunity to tinker with fits and sizing and details over our first few hundred sales. All along the way, we've gotten more and more positive feedback from customers who have bought masks from different sources saying that ours are their favorites. Here are the reasons why:
1. The PLEATED DESIGN makes for a more customizable fit on a diverse range of face shapes and sizes. The curved front masks you’ve been seeing don’t stay on as well and have bigger issues with fit. However, they use considerably less yardage and are about 6-7 times faster to construct. The flat front pleated masks without wires or ear casings are a bit better than the hatchet masks. They are about 4 times faster to sew, but still have multiple fit problems. Where these simpler designs require 4-6 steps from start to finish, our masks take 20 steps to complete.
2. Our unique NOSE BRIDGE WIRE solution, which we haven’t seen anyone else using yet, is the most comfortable of all the masks we’ve tried. It is sturdy but also easy to form and re-form without getting bent out of shape. We haven't heard any reports of it rusting or poke through the fabric going on 4 months now.
3. Our ELASTIC EAR LOOPS are ADJUSTABLE, which is a huge yet strangely frequently overlooked aspect to getting the right fit. We also use a really comfortable 1/8th inch elastic that actually stays behind the ears. Note: we also sell jersey yarn and crocheted ear savers for an around-the-head fit.
4. EAR CASINGS for elastic instead of sewn-in elastic not only look nicer and more finished than other patterns. Although this adds a few extra steps to the sewing process, it is yet another measure that helps ensure optimal fit. It not only helps minimize gaping at the side and top of the mask, but works well with our adjustable elastic. After maskwearers size the loops to their preferred fit, they can slide the slip knot inside of the casing for a more polished look.
DID YOU WORK AS A MAKER/SEWIST BEFORE YOU STARTED MAKING MASKS?
Denise is an artist of many media who has been sewing for 60+ years. While she taught her daughter, Kelly, to sew at age 12, Kelly has only sewn on an as-needed basis until now. In pre-COVID times, Kelly worked as an adjunct in the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University where she was an active member of the first adjunct union in the South. She mentors Duke student-athlete workers during the year, and is an independent writing/editing contractor for places including Johns Hopkins Gastroenterology Department and UNC's BBSP Doctorate Program.