Skip to main content
Cart

Restocked! Our V1, V2, and V3 Face Masks. All orders ship within 2 - 5 business days.

TB blog: news and thoughtful thoughts on bags, design, and our company. Subscribe to receive new blog posts via email
or RSS.

Reusable Cloth Face Mask FAQ

We'll add to/expand this FAQ as we have time. As always, you are welcome and invited to emailus@tombihn.com with your questions. Our goal is to respond to all emails within 3 business days.

Your masks sell out really quickly… when will they just be in-stock?

We’re sorry about that. We get how frustrating it must be to need a cloth face mask and not be able to order one. At this time, we don’t know when or if our Reusable Cloth Face Masks will be in-stock continuously. Our best advice is to sign up to be notified via email on the Reusable Face Mask page to receive an email when the masks are available for order.

We’ve made various efforts to increase our efficiency making masks. As of late April, we are able to manufacture at least 20,000 masks a week. We will continue to increase our efforts to be able to manufacture more masks.

Irma showing Nik something about the masks she's working on; everyone is committed to quality and efficiency.

Irma sharing feedback with Nik about the masks she's working on; everyone is committed to quality and efficiency.

Who are you donating masks to and how many have you donated?

Click here to see our public mask tracking spreadsheet.

Thanks to you, we’ve donated over 13,000 masks as of 04/27.

Donation masks on their way to a clinic.

Donation masks on their way to a clinic.

How do I know which size I need —  Original or Large?

Measure from the bridge of your nose to the point of your chin:

ORIGINAL One Size Fits Most fits up to about 4.5” / 115mm

LARGE One Size Fits Most size fits best 4.5” / 115mm and above

https://www.tombihn.com/products/facemask

Picture these two sizes as a Venn diagram; the overlap — the percentage of people for whom BOTH mask sizes will fit — is very large. In other words, most people will find either sizes to work for them. Darcy (smaller face/head) and Ben (larger face/head) can wear either size comfortably; if given a choice, Darcy would choose ORIGINAL and Ben would choose LARGE. 

Complicating this is that some folks want a snug fit with a tight “seal” and other folks want a roomy fit. If you’re in the former camp, be sure to measure your face and choose the best size for you. If you’re in the latter camp, go with the Large. 

This is Darcy wearing the Black mask in size Large; this size fits her, but the Original is a better fit.

This is Darcy wearing the Black mask in size Large; this size fits her, but the Original is a better fit.

This is Blas of Fulcrum Coffee wearing the size Large mask. It's a good fit for him; the Original is too small.

This is Blas of Fulcrum Coffee wearing the size Large mask. It's a good fit for him; the Original is too small.

Will wearing the mask cause my eyeglasses or sunglasses to fog up?

We’ve had reports from customers who share that this is the first mask that doesn’t cause their glasses to fog up — and, also, questions from customers who want to know how they can wear our mask without their glasses fogging up because that’s happening to them.

That’s all to say: your mileage may vary. There’s various tips online for how to prevent glasses from fogging up no matter the mask you’re wearing. For our Reusable Cloth Face Mask, we’d recommend ensuring the nose bridge is firmly conformed to your nose; you can experiment with adding more than one twist-tie to create a firmer fit. That alone seems to solve the issue for some folks. If that doesn’t seem to solve the issue for you, try putting your glasses or sunglasses on the very beginning edge of the mask as it sits on your nose bridge.

Edelmira has had success wearing our Reusable Cloth Face Mask without her glasses fogging up; your mileage may vary.

Edelmira has had success wearing our Reusable Cloth Face Mask without her glasses fogging up; your mileage may vary.

Why is your mask so expensive?

Our masks are Made in U.S.A. (manufactured in Seattle) and are priced at $6.50 / each. 

For $13 for one Reusable Cloth Face Mask, you’re actually buying one mask that will be physically shipped to you and you’re donating (thank you!) a mask to be shipped to someone else who needs one.

Though we engineered and refined our mask to be as fast to make as possible, you might be surprised that labor and benefits are still the biggest part of our costs. We’re trying to do the best thing by providing masks and covering wages and benefits for our crew. Some masks are manufactured in other countries where the wages and benefits are much less expensive.

Nik working on the production floor of our Seattle factory, probably on a pattern that he's about to print, cut, and sew.

Nik working on the production floor of our Seattle factory, probably on a pattern that he's about to print, cut, and sew.

Why is your mask so inexpensive?

Since the CDC updated their guidelines to advise that anyone who chooses to wear a cloth face mask can and that it could slow the spread of COVID-19, our mission has been to get as many cloth face masks out into the world as we can. Our goal has been a price that’s low enough to be accessible by many while still ensuring our business can pay its wages, benefits, rent, and other expenses.

A stack of cut mask fabric.

A stack of cut mask fabric.

I’m on a low or fixed income, and I need a mask.

Please emailus@tombihn.com

Can you donate masks to an organization local to me?

If you work or volunteer for an organization, essential business, or non-profit, or if you know of such an organization local to you who has asked for cloth face masks, please emailus@tombihn.com

I need to buy masks in bulk; can I buy them at $6.50/each?

We do offer bulk pricing for a variety of quantities. We are able to take small and large bulk orders. Please emailus@tombihn.com

Is your mask the same as an N95 or surgical mask?

No. We are making reusable cloth face masks; the masks we are making are not medical grade masks, nor are they surgical masks, nor N95s. Please see our instructions for use and warnings.

I have a thick or long beard and the mask doesn’t fit that well… what can I do?

Sorry, but maybe it’s time to trim your beard? Tom recommends Wahl trimmers: https://wahlusa.com/products/grooming.html

Can you make one design of mask in one size that will fit and meet everyone’s needs?

That’s probably not possible. Imagine making a pair of . . . let’s say, pants, in one size, that fit everyone, met everyone’s aesthetic expectations, and that everyone used as intended…. not really possible. Like pants, a face mask is basically apparel, and the world of size, aesthetic, and function in apparel is a wide world indeed.

Where are your masks made?

Our Reusable Cloth Face Masks are made in Seattle, Washington, USA.

I ordered a Reusable Cloth Face Mask in size Original or Large and it is a great size! Thank you.

That’s great, thank you for letting us know.

I ordered a Reusable Cloth Face Mask in Size Original and it’s too small for me. What do I do?

We’re sorry that the Original ended up feeling too small. We would recommend machine washing/drying the Original mask you have and giving it to someone you know who could use/wear it; make sure to tell them to machine wash/dry the mask before wearing it.

You’d then be welcome to place an order for the Large (the next size up), or emailus@tombihn.com to ask if we think the Large would provide a better fit.

If you’re really unhappy, please emailus@tombihn.com and we’ll see what we can do.

It’s also worth noting that we’ve posted our mask pattern for free, and if you’d like, you could try to sew one yourself at home — pattern and instructions here — and modify the pattern sizing to be the size you’d like.

I ordered a Reusable Cloth Face Mask in Size Large and it’s too big for me. What do I do?

Pretty much the same as above. :) We’re sorry that the Large ended up feeling too big. We would recommend machine washing/drying the Large mask you have and giving it to someone you know who could use/wear it; make sure to tell them to machine wash/dry the mask before wearing it.

You’d then be welcome to place an order for the Original, or emailus@tombihn.com to ask if we think the Original would provide a better fit.

If you’re really unhappy, please emailus@tombihn.com and we’ll see what we can do.

It’s also worth noting that we’ve posted our mask pattern for free, and if you’d like, you could try to sew one yourself at home — pattern and instructions are here — and modify the pattern sizing to be the size you’d like.

Will you offer the mask in more sizes?

As of now, it seems that our Original and Large sizes fit the vast majority of folks, so we don’t plan to add more sizes of our first mask design (Reusable Cloth Face Mask). We are actively working on additional mask designs and these may come in different, or more, sizes.

Will you offer the mask in more colors?

The colors that our mask is available in will change over time depending on fabric availability. For logistical and efficiency reasons, we expect to only have two colors of mask available at any given time.

Will you offer other designs of face masks?

Yes. In fact, Tom has already designed a different design of face mask and Nik’s working on one, too. These are mostly focused on aesthetics; they may take more time to sew, so we likely won’t get around to making these masks until the immediate, desperate need for cloth masks subsides.

4 comments

Darcy

Darcy's the CEO at TOM BIHN. She really likes working. When she's not working, she's probably hiking, reading, making tacos, gardening with native plants or hanging out with human and canine friends.

←TOM BIHN Reusable Cloth Face Mask Pattern + How-To Videos What it's been like at our Seattle factory as we've made face masks→

4 comments

  • Suzanne Semago on

    You were kind enough to share the pattern for the original mask (and I’ve made a bunch to share); it’s greedy but will you be sharing a pattern for the V3 mask?

  • Phil on

    Some scientists are recommending that a mask with a slot for a filter that can be replaced is more effective. What are your thoughts on this and do you masks have a slot for filters?

  • Adam on

    Can I also boil my Tom Bihn masks?

  • Darby Fowler on

    Thank you for providing this great mask pattern. I’d like to add that using wire on the bridge of the nose keeps my glasses from fogging.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published