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 knitting data for producing a 3D knitted version of the masks on its Wholegarment® knitting machines.

Data is meant to be for cotton masks knitted 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 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.

Seamfree 3D Wholegarment® masks provides superior fit and comfort. Ear straps that are knitted in one piece together with the mask portion offers reduced stress on the ears, and require no further sewing for quick response production. A filter pouch is also knittedin for inserting available virus filters and other filtration fabrics.

Knitted cotton masks can be washed and reused repeatedly. It should be noted however that unlike common nonwoven surgical masks, knit masks do not have virus and pollen filtration functionality. Their main use is for prevention of spray from coughing and sneezing, and for reducing exposure to allergens.