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Japanese firms developing high-quality masks

Apr '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Japanese medium-sized firms in a variety of sectors are exploring their technologies and know-how to produce high-quality, washable masks to meet the rising demand for such items amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Lifestyle Accent Inc., Mitsufuji Corp., Yamamoto Corp., Utax Co. and Atsumi Fashion Co. are some of the companies that have joined the fray.

Mitsufuji Corp. has designed masks using its unique silver-metalised materials, which has deodorising and anti-bacterial effects. Named ‘hamon AG’, it has strong durability and can withstand being washed more than 50 times.

Yamamoto Corp. in Osaka has come up with a mask cover called BIOLA, made of skin-fitting rubber-like materials used in wetsuits for surfing and diving. Small holes near the nose and mouth take in air, unlike the usual masks made of non-woven materials where air can enter anywhere. Inserting a gauze or tissue paper between the mouth and the mask cover can help prevent infection.

Apparel company Lifestyle Accent Inc. has launched masks using fibre materials from ‘washi’, or traditional Japanese paper. It says this kind of material helps masks feel less stuffy and that they can be washed just like apparel items. The triple-layered mask has a filter in the middle made wholly of washi, while the material that touches the skin is a mixture of washi and cotton, according to a Japanese newspaper report.

Ladies-underwear manufacturers have also joined in. Utax Co. from Nishiwaki in Hyogo prefecture near Osaka has produced what it calls ‘the ultimate seamless mask’ that adopts technology used in making inner clothing, enabling the product to dispense with stitches or strings and to offer a soft touch to the skin using stretchy materials. The company is selling it through its own brand Smoon for 660 yen, offering three sizes and three colours. Atsumi Fashion Co. has developed a mask with laces used for a brassiere.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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April 2021

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