Fabricut is one of many companies that serves the window treatment industry that is making and donating masks to medical professionals.
We are living through an unprecedented period of upheaval and fear due the COVID-19 outbreak that began earlier this year. One of the bright spots in this dark time is that people are coming together to give back to their communities and the doctors, nurses, first responders and other professionals keeping us safe.
We’ve already profiled some of the window treatment workroom making masks and other personal protective equipment. Here are some of the manufacturers, distributors, retailers and other firms that are part of the window treatment community that are working hard to help others. (We will continue adding to this list. If your company has a story to share, please send an email to Window Fashion VISION Editor-in-Chief Sophia Bennett.)
Anderson Fabrics, which produces custom window treatments and other products, is currently crafting personal protective equipment for medical professionals.
Ball Chain Manufacturing
Ball Chain Manufacturing is best-known in the window coverings industry for its namesake ball chain product, but during the coronavirus outbreak, the company was approached by a community leader at the local economic development and business advocacy agency to see if it could make masks for local hospitals. While the company’s machinery is not presently capable of making masks, it was able to leverage its long-established supply chain overseas to important a significant quantity of masks per week through its Bona Fide Masks brand, which is part of the LogoTags division. With the demand for quality masks steadily increasing, Ball Chain’s goal is to provide hospitals, healthcare providers and the general public with the PPE they need. It is keeping employees working by assembling face shields for a local company that is providing them to hospitals and front-line works. Tens of thousands of face shields have been assembled to date. Ball Chain has also donated thousands of masks to local police, fire and civic organizations.
Window covering manufacturer Carole Fabrics is now making face masks at its production facility. “We were discussing with our employees last week, and it was brought up that one day we will look back at this challenging time, and history will ask if we did all we could to help the community,” company President Frank Andrews told The Augusta Chronicle. “We, at Carole Fabrics, want to be able to tell our kids and grandkids that we proudly did our part.”
Window shade manufacturer Draper is making medical masks and looking for additional ways to help its community during the COVID-19 outbreak. It has already donated 1,200 paper and N95 masks to a local hospital.
Bedding, drapery and other home products manufacturer Eastern Accents has shifted its production facilities to make cloth masks. It is donating up to 1,000 masks per day to medical facilities in the Chicago area. Masks are also being sold to members of the general public, with a portion of the proceeds from each sale going to the donation program.
Everhem, which sells custom window treatments, drapery hardware, woven wooden shades and other window fashion products, has shut down its production facilities to comply with Los Angeles’ “stay at home” order. However, it is still accepting orders and donating a portion of the proceeds from those orders to various charities. The company has pledged to support the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank and L.A. Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund, two local agencies helping people access food and other necessities. In addition, it will also be making donations to two Gates Philanthropy Partner funds: the Combating COVID-19 Fund, which is developing promising vaccines and diagnostics tools, and the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator Fund, which seeks to expedite the process of getting new treatments for the disease to market quickly.
Fabric distributor Fabricut is making medical masks for medical workers in its samples department (see photo at left). The company is also donating fabrics to other companies that are making masks, including Wesley Hall, which is manufacturing N95 mask covers for hospitals in New York, Michigan and California.
Halcyon Shades has shifted its shade manufacturing plant from making window coverings to creating protective face shields that can be used by medical professionals, first responders, grocery store clerks and others. The company is making 2,000 shields per day and hopes to increase capacity over time. This shift has allowed the company to not only retain its existing staff, but also hire additional people. Company CEO Chris Lozano hopes people who buy shields will purchase extras that can be donated to small rural hospitals and other organizations that might struggle to pay for them.
Kravet, a trade home furnishings company, is producing medical masks. At one point, the company estimated it could produce 3,000 per day. It is also donating fabric to others who are sewing masks.
Fabric design and development company Pindler has shifted its seamstresses to making masks for medical professionals. Its effort is part of the #MillionMaskChallenge issued by the American Medical Association and other organizations.
Manufacturing company Polar Shades has refocused its employees on making personal protective equipment for medical workers. The company is also looking into using its 3D printers to make plastic masks that can accommodate a replaceable filter and be disinfected with relative ease.
Pollack Fabrics, a designer and distributor of fabrics for interior furnishings, has donated fabrics to companies that are making face masks.
Thibaut, maker of fabrics and wallcoverings, has donated fabric to volunteers across the country who are making masks.
Vertilux, which manufactures window blinds, shades, fabrics, automation equipment and other window fashion products, recently began making face mask kits for people interested in sewing protective equipment for first responders and others (see photo at right). People can pick up kits in person in Miami, where the company is based. Vertilux can also ship kits to people or companies with the capacity to make at least 100 masks. More details, including a tutorial on how to sew the masks, is available on the company’s website.
Zoffany, which offers curtains, textiles, wallcoverings and a range of other products, is providing fabric to workrooms and designers who are fabricating masks, including Primo Interiors and Tres Joli drapery workroom in Illinois and Moss Design in Connecticut.