by Theresa Walsh Giarrusso
Contract furniture and textile manufacturers have retooled production lines and reassigned skilled seamstresses and craftspeople to create personal protection equipment for front-line medical workers across the country.
Commercial furniture manufacturer Stylex, a New Jersey-based company, is producing washable, protective masks to be donated to local hospitals as long as there is a need. Stylex co-CEO Bruce Golden has been leading the charge, setting up deliveries and personally bringing masks to hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
“The unifying power of design has never been more important,” says Golden. “We are honored to serve our community in this time of crisis, and put our amazing artisans to work on this task as a labor of love and solidarity.”
Dauphin, an office furniture manufacturer headquartered in New Jersey, quickly pivoted to the production of face masks for healthcare facilities close to its Northern New Jersey factory. Enlisting its automated fabric cutting capabilities and skilled sewers, Dauphin repurposed synthetic materials normally used to line fabric for its upholstered chairs and lounge furniture.
In addition to producing masks at its Boonton facility, Dauphin is also supplying its pre-cut synthetic materials to local community members who have volunteered to produce masks for neighbors and loved ones.
Factory supervisor, Miguel Carhuayo researched the face mask criteria and material to come up with the best design. “We hope we will be able to help doctors and people who are helping our community in these difficult times,” he said.
Dauphin sewing machine operator Juana Cruz said, “It makes me very sad what is happening in the world. But when making these masks, I was filled with happiness knowing that in some way I am helping others.”
In Georgia, Shaw Industries delivered 500 face shields at the end of March to AdventHealth Gordon. The shields were manufactured in its MakerSpace. The medical team at AdventHealth Gordon sent thank-you photos to show they were already using these important items. Shaw then sent 500 shields to Murray County and 50 shields to Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton.
Mohawk Flooring, the residential side of Mohawk Group, shared on social media on April 2 that it has partnered with Fabric Sources International to manufacture surgical gowns and plastic face shields for local Georgia healthcare centers and hospitals.