Vidalia Mills Announces New Joint Venture With Keep It Here To Make Surgical Masks And Gowns

VIDALIA, La. — May 7, 2020 — Vidalia Mills — a North American maker of yarns and denim fabrics — and Keep it Here — a Los Angeles-based manufacturing of T-shirts, jeans, and other clothing — have 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 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 anti-viral and anti-microbial infused, and made with BASF’s e3® sustainable cotton fabrics.

In making the announcement, Vidalia Mills CEO, Dan Feibus, said, “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.”

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 (KIH) 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. He said of the new joint-venture, “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.”

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.”

Posted May 7, 2020

Source: Vidalia Mills