Carolina Cotton Works, Gaffney, S.C.
When did you start in the textile industry?
I started my textile career with Carolina Cotton Works in 2016.
What is your background?
My previous jobs were in construction and maintenance.
What types of products does your company specifically produce and what types of end products are they used in?
Performance apparel – Sportswear
Fashion apparel – The American Giant Hoodie was born at Carolina Cotton Works
Automotive interiors – headliners
Medical fabrics – gowns and face mask
What does your job mean to you, your family and your community?
My job means so much to me. It provides me with the means to support my family and jobs for our community.
What is your role in producing PPE products or inputs for these products for your company?
In my position as finishing supervisor, I’m responsible for providing support to our team withchemistry mix making and its application to various fabrics used for gowns and face mask.
How does it feel to have your company step up to address the PPE shortage during the pandemic?
It means a lot to be a part of a company that’s supporting America’s doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers during this crisis. I know we are actually saving lives.
Why is it important for textiles to be made/cut and sewn and/or finished in America?
Job security for American workers while supporting the U.S. economy.
As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread exponentially, Carolina Cotton Works (CCW) knew it must step up to shift its operations into a PPE focus. CCW, a specialty dyeing and finishing operation, has spent much of its time during the pandemic processing fabrics for masks, gowns and scrubs in various constructions, including cotton, blends and 100 percent polyester, and composed of spun and filament yarns. Some are being infused with antimicrobial and DWR (durable water repellent) ingredients.
“We had to pivot and come up with a new set of fabrics,” said Sales Manager Stacey Bridges. “We knew the market needed masks, gowns and scrubs quickly. With all of these being new fabrics, we did not know what to expect. Our chemical vendors were instrumental in taking a large greige bank of apparel fabrics and turning them into PPE fabrics with DWR and antimicrobial treatments. We could not have done it without our current brands and chemical suppliers.”