Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 26

I'm now seeing
some of the masks
we've made out in
public. It's a great
feeling to belong
to one of the many
local companies that
rose to the occasion
during this pandemic.
JORDAN BARNES

TROPICAL J'S INC.

For the U.S. textile industry, it
was an opportunity for reinvention.
Textile businesses of all kinds have
been hit hard-forced to shut down,
furlough employees and rethink their
operations. A realignment of U.S.
textile manufacturing has begun to take
shape, thanks to the efforts of textile
organizations including Industrial Fabrics
Association International (IFAI), the
National Council of Textile Organizations
(NCTO), American Apparel and
Footwear Association (AAFA), SEAMS
(the association and voice of the U.S.
sewn products industry), Sewn Products
Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas
(SPESA) and the Association of the
Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA).
SOURCING INFORMATION
As the PPE shortage escalated, textile
companies were reclassified as "essential"
and reopened to make PPE, rehiring
furloughed employees and hiring
additional sewers. And while it was
not unexpected that apparel brands

A. Lava & Son donated masks that the company manufactured to the Chicago
Police Department. Photo: Steven Applebaum, A. Lava & Son.

and manufacturers would shift their
production to PPE, industrial textile
companies also pivoted their production
into making and delivering protective
masks and hospital gowns.
"It's the first time in my life the
country is depending on textiles and cutand-sew-one of the last bastions of oldschool manufacturing," says Adam Lava,
co-owner of Chicago, Ill.-based A. Lava
& Son Co., a fourth-generation contract
sewer and manufacturer of bedding and
mattress-making components.
But it was not an easy pivot. With little
direction from government agencies,
PPE patterns and material specifications
were all over the place. Few makers knew
the difference between medical/surgical
PPE and the "community" masks being
mandated for the general population.
Some lacked essential equipment; many
needed to train employees and new hires.
Online PPE resource centers made
available by IFAI, AAFA, SEAMS and
others offered suggestions for patterns,
specs, materials sourcing and cut-andsew operations. Gerber Technology, a
Tolland, Conn.-based supplier of software,
automation systems and services for
apparel and industrial manufacturing,
put together a Gerber PPE Task Force and
Resource Team to assist customers and
partners in making the transition.
"Manufacturing PPE requires a particular
configuration of equipment and software,"
says Leonard Marano, vice president for
automation systems at Gerber. "We had a
little bit of a head start, as we have many
customers in China. Once the virus started
to spread, we knew we had to gear up."
Gerber's PPE COVID-19 Resource
Page comprises resources for patterns,
tech packs and instructional videos, along
with contacts for fellow suppliers and
manufacturers, partner organizations and
industry consultants. Since its launch on
March 24, more than 1,500 companies
have accessed the Gerber site for help in

26 REVIEW AUGUST 2020

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Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020

Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 4
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 5
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 6
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 7
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 8
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Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 11
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 12
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Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 16
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 17
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 18
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 19
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 20
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 21
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Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 23
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 24
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 25
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 26
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 27
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 28
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 29
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 30
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 31
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Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 33
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 34
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 35
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 36
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 37
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 38
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