MIDDLETOWN – County Draperies has transformed its production to make reusable cloth gowns and masks.
By the end of this week, the Middletown company will have made about 20,000 cloth masks, said David Markowitz, president and COO of the family-owned business. They are made for five-batch online orders or for mass-produced bulk and custom orders.
“People’s lives and safety is something we’re a part of now,” Markowitz said.
The 41-year-old company that has been in Middletown since 1985 has had to layoff about 25 percent of its employees since the pandemic put the state on pause, mandating that non-essential businesses close, Markowitz said.
Making the gowns and masks allows most of the employees to keep working, with ample space between one another in the 80,000-square-foot facility.
“It’s been exciting. We never expected it, but it’s good to know we serve an importance,” said Freddy Lopera, plant manager.
The company, prior to the pandemic, specialized in making drapes, bedding and accessories mostly for hotels and other hospitality establishments.
Using leftover materials that are breathable and comfortable to wear on one’s face, employees cut the cloth, sew on the elastic loops and package the masks for distribution.
Jeanette Urbina, one of the employees making the masks, said each worker averages about 200 masks produced each day. There were six workers on the clock on Tuesday.
Markowitz said the company is working on a new face mask design that would be more useful to the hard of hearing community. He hopes to reveal that product in the coming weeks.
Packages of five masks sell for about $30 on Shopify. They were handed out to employees and their families, as well as some clients, free of charge.
Originally published on May 6th, 2020: https://www.recordonline.com/news/20200506/county-draperies-gets-into-mask-making-business