SHIMA SEIKI: Surgical knitted masks

In light of the continuing worldwide shortage of surgical masks due to the increased spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection, leading flat knitting solutions provider SHIMA SEIKI MFG., LTD. of Wakayama, Japan has released knitting data for two more versions of knitted masks to be produced on its computerized knitting machines. These are in addition to the WHOLEGARMENT mask data released previously.

The data released this time consists of cotton masks to be produced on both WHOLEGARMENT machines as well as conventional shaping machines. As before, WHOLEGARMENT mask data is meant for production 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. The shaped knit mask data is meant for production on SVR093SP as well as the rest of SHIMA SEIKI's computerized knitting machine lineup equipped with the moveable sinker system. The users with machines that match this criteria can download the mask data from the SHIMA SEIKI Users' Site, an archive featuring over 10,000 knit samples for use by SHIMA SEIKI customers.

It is important to note that both types of masks utilize dimensional shaping and provide improved fit and comfort. Although elastic bands must be inserted afterward for ear straps, there is no need for further sewing, and the simple design allows for shorter production times. A filter-pouch is also knitted-in for inserting commercially 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.


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