Under Armour Designs The “Origami Mask” To Help Fight COVID-19

The innovative “no-sew” design cuts down production time and cost in this challenging time

Fashion brands around the world are joining hands and contributing the best they can in the fight against the ongoing pandemic. American activewear brand Under Armour is also doing its bit. To that end, it has unveiled an innovative new surgical mask that’s made of a single piece of fabric and doesn’t need any sewing. That means that it can be produced in a shorter amount of time and in larger quantities, thereby ensuring faster delivery to medical workers. Under Armour has turned the innovation lab in its Baltimore headquarters—known as the UA Lighthouse—into a factory that masks disposable surgical masks, face shields and even fanny packs.

After a process of rapid prototyping and iteration, the team of 50 designers at the company settled on a one-piece mask that doesn’t need any sewing. Called the “origami mask” for its resemblance to the Japanese art, the folds are carefully positioned to adapt to the topography of the wearer’s face and cover the nose, cheeks and chin area.

The masks are made from a breathable, moisture-resistant fabric that is similar to the material used for traditional surgical masks. And just like surgical masks, the “origami masks” are designed to be used for a day and then thrown away. The factory is mass-producing the masks at a pace of 100,000 a week to serve medical institutions in the Maryland area for now.