from an article published published by News-Medical.net on June 30, 2020 title Silk useful as face mask and PPE in COVID-19

Silk Most Effective as Face Covering

The researchers found that when used for protection of the face, silk is the most effective at preventing the penetration of droplets, and the least absorptive of water, because of its intensely hydrophobic character compared to the other fabrics tested. In short, the face coverings made of 100% washed silk repelled water just as effectively as masks, but are hydrophobic, unlike the latter, and can be made ready for immediate reuse by sterilization.

This characteristic, coupled with its breathability, and the fact that it does not trap water, makes it ideal for protecting respirators under conditions of clinical exposure, and as a material for home-made for face coverings. The other advantages include its inherent antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, as well as the thinness of the material even when used in multiple layers.

Silk also does not irritate the skin or increase local humidity around the face beneath it, making it suitable for prolonged wear, and avoiding accidental stimulation of face touching. Thus, this material, say the researchers, “may play a major role in the development of new PPE equipment, such as respirator inserts, that capitalize on its many benefits.”

published by News-Medical.net

Full article on the benefits of silk as PPE