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English Fine Cottons to increase face mask production

Jun '20
English Fine Cottons, a leading commercial cotton spinner in the UK, has recently worked with a local Children’s Hospital in Manchester to develop a British-made ‘Cough Catcher’ face mask for outpatients and parents visiting their children. Now, English Fine Cottons is hoping to join up with teams of sewers and machinists to help increase production.

Since the government’s recent announcement 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 with the company. As Britain’s only cotton-spinner based in Manchester, English Fine Cottons works with fellow UK suppliers to produce luxury Britspun cotton fabrics and products with its superfine Supima yarns.

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 English Fine Cottons’ own small team of machinists and sewers at its revived Victorian cotton mill in Dukinfield, but the company is quickly exceeding their capacity to make enough each week, according to a UKFT press release.

The 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.

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 are believed to be very effective in capturing the wearer’s coughs and sneezes, so significantly reducing the risks of transmission.

“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. 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,” English Fine Cottons director and general manager, Andy Ogden said.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (GK)

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June 2021

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