English Fine Cottons is searching for UK manufacturers to help with a nationwide operation to produce hundreds of thousands of face covers for NHS hospitals.
We recently worked with a local Children’s Hospital to develop an entirely British-made “Cough Catcher” for outpatients and parents visiting their children.
Since the government’s announcement on Friday that it will now be mandatory for all hospital visitors and staff to wear a face mask, dozens of trusts across the country have been in touch. Now, we’re hoping to join up with teams of sewers and machinists to help increase production.
As Britain’s only cotton-spinner based in Manchester, we work with fellow UK suppliers to produce luxury Britspun cotton fabrics and products with our superfine Supima yarns.
Introducing the Cough Catcher
The Cough Catcher is made from a high thread-count superior quality cotton sheeting that is woven by Heathcoat fabrics based in Devon and printed by Manchester firm Clothes2Order.
The face-covers are then made up by our own small team of machinists and sewers at our revived Victorian cotton mill in Dukinfield, but we’re quickly exceeding their capacity to make enough each week.
Our Director and General Manager Andy Ogden said we’ve already enlisted the services of manufacturers in Colne , Crewe and Tiverton but we’re looking to enlist more to keep up with demand.
He said: “We have the yarns, the fabric and the design, we just need to complete the supply chain and team up with enough makers.
“Ideally, we’d be able to link up each hospital trust with a manufacturer local to them and they could work together to produce a supply of cough catchers to suit the trust’s demand.”
While medical grade face masks are reserved for front-line workers, it’s thought that high thread count cotton fabric coverings are the next best alternative for the general public.
Tightly woven materials made from super-fine yarns like ours are believed to be very effective in capturing the wearer’s coughs and sneezes, so significantly reducing the risks of transmission.
Our Cough Catcher is designed to provide a highly effective fit for as many people as possible. It’s a three-fold design that can fit snugly around the chin with elasticated ear-loops ensuring it’s comfortable enough to be worn for long periods of time.
Each mask has an integrated nose-bridge that moulds around the nose and is made of aluminium so it doesn’t rust. They can be washed at high temperatures and are easy to iron.
UK firms in the fight against Covid-19
Andy said: “We’re really proud of the quality of the product and we’re delighted to be involved in a project that helps in the fight against Covid-19.
“But we’re also thrilled that we’re able to help bring together British manufacturers and forge a supply chain to make a product that until recently we wouldn’t have been able to make from scratch on these shores.
“When we started spinning cotton in 2016, it was our ambition to re-establish the cotton industry in this country and it’s great to see that come to fruition during this challenging time.”
- If your organisation can help us make our face-covers, get in touch! [email protected]