Vidalia Mills, Keep It Here announce JV to make surgical masks, gowns
Posted May 7, 2020
VIDALIA, La. – Vidalia Mills, a leading North American maker of yarns and denim fabrics, and Keep it Here (KIH), a major Los Angeles-based manufacturing of T-shirts, jeans and other clothing, announced a new joint venture to manufacture and distribute surgical masks, gowns and face masks to assist medical professionals in limiting the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Vidalia Mills has purchased one automated surgical grade mask-making machine, along with two automatic N95 high-protection mask-making machines, which will be installed within the next 90 days in a new cleanroom facility under construction at the Vidalia Mills plant here and will utilize nonwoven and other advanced textile materials. The machines can produce up to 100 million units annually.
Additionally, Vidalia Mills has deployed 20 high-speed weaving looms to make lightweight cotton fabrics for the production of medical gowns and consumer face masks to be cut and sewn at Keep it Here in Los Angeles. In turn, the materials will be antiviral and antimicrobial infused, and made with BASF’s e3® sustainable cotton fabrics.
"With the production of these urgently needed masks and garments, we're working to rapidly build a supply of protective equipment requested by medical professionals and government leaders to help contain the expansion of the Covid-19 virus," said Vidalia Mills CEO Dan Feibus.
Patrick Stewart, president of Keep it Here, added: "With our highly trained team, we are able rapidly to design and manufacture products. Because of our manufacturing capabilities, we will be able to make a substantial supply of cotton surgical gowns and consumer face masks to help our country in its hour of need."
Keep it Here is a subsidiary of Omniverse Group. This diversified development company has hired Dr. Pietro D. Marghella, an expert in medical and public health emergencies, to oversee the medical requirements of the production at Vidalia and KIH.
Marghella is an accomplished medical professional and former government and military official.
"I am pleased to work with the teams at KIH and Vidalia to get production ramped quickly by providing sound medical advice to make high-quality products for the medical community and public at large," Marghella said.
Commenting on Vidalia’s use of BASF’s e3 sustainable cotton for the production of surgical gowns and face masks, Jennifer Crumpler, director of the e3 sustainable cotton program said, “BASF is pleased to play a role in supplying versatile cotton grown by farmers throughout the United States for much-needed medical equipment. We are proud that our agricultural community is able to assist healthcare workers and citizens with gowns and face masks made from sustainable cotton during this unprecedented time.”
Source: Vidalia Mills