Myant produces masks for frontline workers
Toronto-based E-textile specialist redirects its expertise, reconfigures its manufacturing facility
Global leaders in textile computing, Myant Inc., recently unveiled a new line of personal protective equipment (PPE) that is now under production in its facility based in Toronto. The reusable, washable textile face masks were designed to provide superior safety (leveraging the known antiviral properties of copper and silver), comfort, and practicality for frontline workers in the community as well as everyday people who need to run essential errands in their neighbourhood. With the ability to produce over 340,000 masks each month and significant capacity increase in the works, Myant is ready to help governments, businesses, communities, and individuals protect the people they care for against COVID-19.
As the COVID-19 pandemic grew to disrupt daily life for people around the world, the company quickly looked for ways to help society. Known for its unique expertise in functionalizing textiles to do more than simply dress, Myant asked its R&D team, designers, engineers, and textile experts to devise a solution that keeps people protected against viral threats like COVID-19. The team looked at the shortcomings of existing mask designs and leveraged its deep knowledge in fiber sciences to produce a line of washable, reusable masks that incorporate the known antiviral properties of copper and silver.
The masks, which were designed to be consumer-grade masks suitable for everyday use (as opposed to N95 respirators), feature a double layered construction, incorporate antiviral materials, and are designed to comfortably and effectively cover the mouth and nose area. Since the masks are washable and reusable, the use of textile masks can also help alleviate the mounting environmental crisis generated by disposable single-use masks. The masks are currently being tested with the help of research partners at the University of Toronto to further validate the efficacy of the designs and materials.
Made in Toronto
Known as an end-to-end textile solutions provider, the company rapidly turned these designs into reality at its 80,000 sq ft manufacturing facility located in Etobicoke (west-end Toronto). With the vast number of state-of-the-art knitting machines reprogrammed to support this initiative, Myant is capable of producing over 340,000 masks a month, potentially alleviating the mounting shortage of face coverings needed not just in the midst of the pandemic, but also in the future, when entire communities take the tentative steps towards a new type of normal life. Plans for increased capacity would allow the company to increase production to more than 1,000,000 masks a month as well as other types of PPE such as gloves.
The entire process from design to ramping up the mass production of these masks spanned a manner of a few short weeks. As the knitting machines work non-stop to keep up with the demand for the first line of masks, the innovative team at Myant is already deep into development on its next line of masks, working closely with partners in academia and in industry both here in Canada and overseas in Germany. The new professional-grade masks being designed are meant to offer healthcare professionals with a washable and reusable alternative to single-use medical masks and respirators. These new designs are expected to be available in the coming weeks.