SpiderTech shifts production to make strapless face masks
By Alanna Fairey, Associate EditorGeneral Manufacturing COVID-19 PPE SpiderTech Technology
The strapless masks are made from 100% gradable cotton that is breathable with an adhesive liner on the back
When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, Toronto-based SpiderTech shifted their production from making precut kinesiology tape for athletes to providing do-it-yourself adhesive masks for medical workers and the public to help prevent the spread of the virus.
According to SpiderTech CEO Montu Khokhar, the company made the tactical decision to shift production when images of frontline workers wearing N95 masks started circulating on the internet.
Khokhar said the images left a profound impact on him and his team.
“We just started seeing all these horrible pictures of frontline workers with these marks on their face and their ears bleeding,” Khokhar said in an interview with Canadian Manufacturing. “We also saw that they were constantly moving and touching their face because they’re using these face masks.
Khokhar added: “So my team and I decided to start developing our own base protection and face masks.”
The strapless masks, sourced from local materials, are made from 100% gradable cotton that is breathable with an adhesive liner on the back specifically designed for skin.
“For years we’ve had kinesiology tape that was very high-quality, high grade, and was made for sensitive skin – like on your face,” Nick Martichenko, SpiderTech’s medical consultant, said.
Martichenko also added that the strapless masks can be worn for up to eight hours.
“People used to wear the tape and leave it on their body for about a week and not remove it,” Khokhar explained. “You can shower with it and you can do whatever you want with it.”
SpiderTech has provided their strapless masks to a variety of different hospitals including Mount Sinai, Sunnybrook, Sick Kids, North York General and Trillum Health Partners.
Even though the strapless masks were initially designed to be worn by frontline workers, SpiderTech made the decision to make the masks available to the general public.
“We started selling the face mask to the ordinary public because as the demand increases out there of any piece of cloth or any bandana or anything better than not having something, that makes our product really more desirable because you don’t have to fumble with the straps,” Khokhar said.
While demand for the strapless masks will depend on the status of COVID-19, Khokhar remains optimistic about the future of the strapless masks, noting that the adhesives will still have a use in COVID-19 recovery.
“The beauty of the tape is that you can actually use it a number of different ways, depending on how you put it on,” Khokhar concluded.
The strapless SpiderTech masks can be purchased on the SpiderTech website.