Wren Paper + Cotton Face Masks

In response to the global call for people around the world to wear masks because of the COVID-19 pandemic we took up the challenge to develop a face mask using our unique fused paper. 

At Wren we work with Paper. We collect reel-ends from various packaging printing factories and use this. We digitally or screen print solid or designs onto the paper and we fuse it to cotton fabric so that we can stitch it without it tearing (this also gives it a great handle). Once our products are made up we coat the surface to be water resistant.

Making a face mask from our paper presented several challenges. Our paper is not forgiving to experimentation (each new prototype is made from scratch); it is difficult to force it into a shape it does not want to go; it tears on you if you ask it to do something it does not want to do; it is not stretchable. It is very rigid for a natural material actually.

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We overcame these challenges by creating two patterns that look like very rugged mountain ranges down the sides of each rectangle flat paper piece. These “mountains” or “cut outs” allow us to fold each pleat without any access making it bulky.

The Classic Mask has two very carefully placed pleats and the Deco Mask has 6 tucks and 2 pleats.

To make the surface that is against your face soft we have used brushed cotton. This makes the mask double-layered and soft against your face. We usually only use this inside our laptop device covers. It works with the paper and it works very well for the face masks becuase it is also a light fabric.

Using cotton bias-tape the paper edges are soft. This extends to be tied around the back of your head.

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Now for the fancy part. We usually spray all of our paper with Nano Liquid Glass to make the surface water, dirt and anti-bacterial. Upon investigation we learnt about the next level of coating that could be applied – currently used extensively in the food preparation industry (for tables) and the medical industry: silver. Silver, copper, Zinc and Gold have long been used and known for their anti-microbial qualities. Think of brass door handles that used to be used exclusively for bathroom doors (maybe we should go back to this?).

The silver coating makes the paper surface hydrophobic, oil repellant and anti-microbial. To read more about anti-microbial coatings we suggest reading here.

As extra precaution we recommend that our face masks are wiped with a soapy cloth and then ironed hot. As the surface is water resistant the water will not damage the cloth, and in the event that you use too much water and the paper can’t cope, the iron will force the bond to the fabric be reinstated. The heat will also not damage the anti-microbial surface.

The coating should last between 6 and 12 months. It is possible for us to recoat your mask for you.

The Deco and the Classic Face Mask are two products like none-other. Made from folded paper to fit your face, fused for comfort and coated to be anti-microbial. Protect yourself, protect others and wear a face mask please.

Disclaimer: Our masks have not been medically tested and they will not prevent you from contracting viruses such as the coronavirus. COVID-19