Vice president, Product & Technical Innovation
Nufabrx, Asheboro, N.C.
When did you start in the textile industry?
I started my career in textiles in 1989 at Laughlin Hosiery Mill Inc., which was located in Randleman N.C.
What is your background?
My background is product development in circular weft knitting, primarily on MATEC and LONATI Hosiery machines and SANTONI seamless machines.
What types of products does your company specifically produce and what types of end products are they used in?
TexDel (Nufabrx) produces technology yarns with active ingredients that are applied through a patented coating process. Through this process the active ingredients are embedded in the fibers of the yarn and becomes a very controllable drug delivery system. Our team of scientists, chemical engineers and fiber experts design these active ingredients to be released in a controlled dose transdermally over time when coming in contact with the skin. We use these technology yarns to manufacture products that are creating an entirely new category in the market, “healthwear.”
We partnered with Bossong Hosiery Mill Inc. in Asheboro NC as our primary manufacturer. Some of the end-use products manufactured at this facility with our fibers are for pain management, which utilizes the active ingredient Capsaicin. These products are knee sleeves, arm sleeves, ankle and foot sleeves, hand wrist sleeves, back wraps or panels and socks.
Another end use product we have put our technology yarn in is our Soliscia face mask. This product utilizes shea butter as the active ingredient, which acts as a moisturizer. Our fibers have also been used in pillow covers to control acne causing bacteria. The great thing about our technology fibers are that they can be used to replace an existing conventional fiber in most any product and now we have added a plus one function to this product, this product now has a marketplace in the “healthwear” category.
What does your job mean to you, your family and your community?
What my job means to me, I would say, are the healthy challenges that it presents, the rewards of overcoming those challenges during development through successful stages and less than successful stages and the knowledge gained from both. Another thing that my job means to me is that down through the years in this industry it has put me in a position that I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best people in their fields and collaborate with them on many projects. I have been blessed that at every stage of my career there has always been at least that one person there that has been willing to provide me with support, knowledge and a path if I choose it to the next step forward.
As far as what it means to my family, I guess it would be the comfort and security afforded to them in knowing that my job and the industry that I work in is solid and has a stable future. What my job means to my community would be the creation of new jobs, stabilization and sustainability of the current jobs in textile manufacturing.
What is your role in producing PPE products or inputs for these products for your company?
I function as a team member in the innovation, design, development and production implementation. I also play a supporting role to our manufacturing partner when there is a need.
How does it feel to have your company step up to address the PPE shortage during the pandemic? I served as a Sworn LEO (law enforcement officer) in Randolph County N.C., in the capacity of active reserve deputy sheriff for approximately six years. Typically I worked patrol on D platoon answering 911 calls every other weekend. During the time I served with the RCSO and the citizens of Randolph County, I always had a strong feeling of comradery and pride to be part of something greater than myself and how I could be a positive influence to the community and help change people’s lives for the better even when the situation wasn’t good. I think I can speak for the entire Nufabrx family – the feeling I had when our company stepped up to address the PPE shortage was the same feeling, one of service to community and fellowman in time of need.
Our face mask, which was the first PPE product we developed, also went into production during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team, which includes innovation and design, operations, sales and marketing, yarn manufacturing, supply chain logistics and a science team, went from a simple statement and question asked by our CEO, Jordan Schindler on a Friday evening: “We need to make a face mask … can you do that on a hosiery machine?” By the end of the following week, we had a production ready product to answer his question, “Yes, we can!” This was the perfect example of how a small group of dedicated people working together in a time of need can make an almost impossible timeline a reality.
Why is it important for textiles to be made/cut and sewn and/or finished in America?
Textiles is one of the foundational industries of America. Most families have ties one way or another to the textile industry and can be traced back over 200 years. I guess you could say it was one of the industries that helped build this country. I believe it is important to culture and develop all aspects of textiles here, the entire supply chain, beginning to end, we should strive to retain 100% of this industry in America. In my opinion the American textile worker wants to manufacture good-quality products, have steady, stable work, and make a decent living to provide for their family. When they go shopping and they pick up a shirt or pair of pants, they want to have that feeling of pride, just like me when they see the label that simply says, “Made in America,” not “Assembled in America from foreign and domestic components.” It’s our heritage let’s keep it here.
In the midst of crisis, the entire N.C. textile industry banded together to help the healthcare industry. Nufabrx is a proprietary biomaterial company that seamlessly embeds active ingredients, including vitamins, supplements and medications into fabrics. In partnership with Bossong Medical and the Manufacturing Solutions Center, Nufabrx has shifted production for a new line of reusable copper medical masks called TheraMasks. These masks are powered by CuTEC copper, a material that is known to be naturally antibacterial.
Founder and CEO Jordan Schindler decided to quickly retool a textile product to create a reusable face mask.
"Tired of feeling helpless on the sidelines, we wanted to do something that would make a difference. With our Nufabrx technology, Bossong Medical and Manufacturing Solutions Center, everyone has linked arms and committed to help in this crisis. TheraMasks is the first-of-its-kind, reusable, CuTEC copper-powered mask that lasts up to 30 washes. We are grateful that we are able to provide PPE to those that need them, and that our government is choosing to support small businesses and made in America in this difficult time. Numerous jobs have been saved and countless more brought back as a result of this effort.”