Face Mask FAQs ***PLEASE READ***
Size Selection: We currently offer three adult sizes. Though facial dimensions vary widely, and are difficult to determine on your own with string and a ruler, it turns out head size is closely correlated to height. We find Medium fits most "average height" people. If you are 5-feet tall or shorter, consider Small. If you are 6-feet tall or taller, consider Large. People seem to have a sense for whether they have a "small" or "large" face/head. Another simple way to choose your size is based on your baseball cap size. Large/XL cap = Large mask. Medium/Small cap = Medium mask. Adult XS cap = Small mask (adult small, not child small). If you're in doubt, we suggest you purchase one mask, and try it out.
Longevity: Nothing lasts forever. Colors fade. Elastic stretches and snaps. Our masks are machine washable and reusable, and should provide several months of regular use, if treated with care. If you are in the habit of pulling your mask under your chin, you will significantly reduce the life expectancy of the elastic bands. Our goal is to provide a quality product with a balance of performance, comfort and value. Ideally, our mask will provide equivalent or better value than wearing single-use disposable face masks. We do not guarantee any specific life expectancy of our face masks.
The mask itself will surely outlive the elastic bands. Elastic bands naturally lose their elasticity and/or break eventually. We offer replacement bands for DIY repairs. If you are adept with needle and thread, you can rejuvenate your mask with new elastic bands. Your local dry cleaner/tailor can also perform the restoration. Our replacement bands are slightly longer than the ones we use in production, so you can adjust the fit to your liking.
Construction and Material: Each mask is constructed with three layers of fabric. Unless specifically noted, all of our face mask fabric is 100-percent cotton quilting cloth and broadcloth, with threadcount ranging from 60x60 to 68x68. Where noted, some of our masks feature our in-house printed DigiPrint™ polyester on the outside, with 100-percent cotton on the middle layer and face-side layer.
Elastic Ear Bands: Our design employs narrow width (1/8-inch wide) over-ear elastic bands. We selected this design, rather than behind-the-head elastic bands and non-elastic ties, for ease of use and superior fit for our sculpted mask design. Both styles have pros and cons in different use scenarios, and we concluded the over-ear style is best for use by the general public for occasional outings. We selected narrow-width elastic, instead of 1/4-inch elastic, for more elastic range and less stress on your ears. DO NOT IRON your mask. A hot iron will ruin the elastic bands.
No Returns: For health reasons, fabric face masks are not returnable. All sales are final. If your mask is not to your liking, please wash and dry it, seal it in a ziplock bag, and give it to a family member or friend.
No Repairs: For health reasons, we do not provide mask repair services. Your local dry cleaner/tailor can re-attach or replace the elastic bands. For their safety, please be sure to wash your mask beforehand.
PPE DISCLAIMER: Public health officials and medical professionals alike have repeatedly emphasized that fabric face masks are NOT “personal protective equipment” (PPE), and there is little scientific research characterizing the efficacy of fabric face masks for personal disease protection. Furthermore, face mask performance is highly dependent on various factors, including mask design, individual mask-to-face fit, and material selection. WEARING A FACE MASK OF ANY KIND IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR OTHER PRECAUTIONS, such as physical distancing, washing your hands, and keeping your hands off your face.
Wash it before you wear it: Laser cutting can leave an odor which is eliminated with one or two wash and dry cycles — by hand or machine, with dish soap or laundry detergent (do not use fabric softener or bleach). We use "pre-shrunk" cotton, so shrinkage due to washing and drying should be minimal. A good wash and dry will make your face mask fresh and soft — and you should repeat the process regularly to keep your mask clean and germ free. After washing and drying, massage the seams with your fingers to restore the shape. DO NOT IRON your mask. A hot iron will ruin the elastic bands.
- Wash it before you wear it.
- Wash it before you reverse it.
- Wash it before you share it.
Filter Pocket: Our reusable, machine-washable design does not include a filter pocket. We believe three layers of fine woven fabric provide an optimal level of germ containment performance, comfort and manufacturability, without the need for disposable filter elements.
Nose Bridge: Our masks do not have a metal nose bridge. We were concerned about how it might damage the mask after repeated machine washing. Instead, we focused on sculpting and sizing our masks to provide a snug fit.
Eyeglass Fogging: Eyeglass fogging is a common face mask issue. I pull my mask up to the top of my nose bridge, and set my glasses on top of the mask, about 1/2 inch forward from the top, so my exhale is restricted and redirected just enough, up and over the lenses, to prevent fogging.
No Wholesale Pricing, Quantity Discounts or Professional Discounts: Our face masks are made by hand with high-quality materials in our own small factory in San Francisco, by a small dedicated team of professional sewers. The unit price reflects our sustainable cost of manufacturing and direct sales, with no additional margin for wholesale distribution or discounts. We are offering the same price to all purchasers. We acknowledge that there are less expensive alternatives from home-based sewers and low-cost foreign manufacturers.
Online orders only — no sales at factory: We do not sell masks at our factory. All orders must be placed online, but curbside pickup at our factory is an option for locals.
Factory Pickup — wait for email: All of our masks are made to order, so it will take a few days to complete your order. Please wait for us to send you an email to notify you when your order is ready. Our pickup hours are M-F, 9-5. We are closed Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. No appointment is necessary for pickup.
Wearing is Caring: We believe proper use of a face mask by the general public is an essential practice for disease CONTAINMENT — preventing contagious individuals from spreading disease to other individuals and groups of individuals in public and work settings — and for this reason alone, anyone moving about in public or working around other people, should wear a well-designed face mask FOR THE PROTECTION OF OTHERS — especially given the scientifically proven fact that anyone can be unknowingly highly contagious before showing symptoms (“presymptomatic”) or without showing any symptoms at all (“asymptomatic”). Please wear a face mask to protect those around you. What you don’t know can harm others. Wearing is caring.
More reasons to wear a mask:
- Wearing a fabric mask instead of a medical grade mask diverts public demand for precious medical grade masks, which should be reserved exclusively for medical personnel and first responders.
- Wearing a fabric mask serves as a reminder to keep your hands off your face.
- Wearing a fabric mask signals to others around you that you take this crisis seriously, and they should too.
- If everyone wears a mask, we all help keep germs off of public surfaces, thereby furthering the containment effort.
Please, no order changes: Our fabric selection is limited, and we introduce new fabric options as we source new fabric. Please do not request changes to your order. If you cancel your order to order a differnet fabric color or style, your new order will be added to the queue in the order it is received.
Please be patient: Rickshaw is a small shop with limited production capacity. We try to keep production leadtime to less than 5 days. We all feel a sense of urgency, and we will do our very best to fulfill your order as fast as possible.
We care — please send us an email: Rickshaw is a small team of hard working humans. We make everything we sell in our own small factory, and we answer all customer service inquiries ourselves. We are commited to making well-designed, well-made, high-quality products, and providing extraordinary customer service. Perfection is our goal, but we make mistakes occassionally. If you have an issue with one of our products, or your order is late or lost in transit, please let us know directly. We care, and we're here to help as best we can. We have a phone, but we just don't have anyone to answer it. The absolute best way to reach us is by email to email@example.com. Thank you!