What causes a mask to tear?
Latex masks are a natural material.
Latex rubber (a type of tree sap) is processed with ammonia and other ingredients which is allowed to dry to create a mask.
Usually it is the loss of natural moisture which causes a mask to become less flexible and tear.
If the mask is vinyl, (you can tell, if the inside is very shiny) it will have a life expectancy of maybe ten years, under ideal conditions. Vinyl is a plastic which remains supple due to an oil content. When enough of this oil flashes off, from age or contact with a porous material. It becomes fragile, and can tear like paper.
If you think you can handle it yourself, here's how;
For any mask, a tear is pretty much a sign of retirement from being worn. This doesn't mean that it's not still a keeper, it only means it should be placed on a stand and displayed.
To fix a tear, use strips of 1/4 inch masking tape, and tape the tear together. From the outside, using the tape only to keep the sides located.
From the inside of the mask, spread yellow contact cement along the tear and about 1/2 inch on either side. Allow this to dry.
Cut a strip of paper towel, cheesecloth, or muslin as wide and long as the glued area inside the mask. Lay this on clean newspaper, and paint yellow contact cement on one side of the paper towel, cheesecloth, or muslin strip. Let this dry. Working from the joined end of the tear, slowly lay the glued paper towel, cheesecloth, or muslin onto the glued tear. Press firmly and remove tape. Brush the paper towel, cheesecloth, or muslin patch with more contact cement. When dry, dust with baby powder.
Now place the mask on a display stand, and enjoy.
This may not be completely perfect, but it will help keep your treasured mask together.
This process works best on a latex mask, glue won't hold as well on vinyl and may continue to split.
No guarantee of success is expressed or implied. Any success or failure is not the responsibility of the Mask Doctor, or anyone affiliated therewith.