In response to the coronavirus crisis, home furnishings companies like Kravet and NorthCape are stepping up to manufacture masks for healthcare workers out of their facilities.
After Joanne Carrocino, CEO of Cape Regional Health System in Cape May Court House, NJ, called for help with acquiring masks, both Bill Wenzel of NorthCape in Alsip, IL and Ellen Kravet of Kravet Inc. in Bethpage, NY rose to the occasion.
Within a few hours, the team figured out specifications of fabrics, logistics of making the masks, and how to have them all sewn by hand. At NorthCape, Wenzel estimates that approximately 3,000 masks can be made per day. Production began early Monday morning, March 23 in both the NorthCape's Illinois warehouse and Kravet's South Carolina facility.
Additionally, Kravet joined efforts with outdoor furniture brand Woodard Furniture, which has converted its Michigan facility to manufacture non-N95 masks. Kravet has donated 500 yards of fabric, with fabric from fellow textile brand Schumacher as well, and been instrumental in finding a supplier of elastic.
Overall, the industry has banded together to aid in filling the void of available equipment and will continue to offer their services to try and help fight the virus.