UK Sailmakers lofts are supplying Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care heroes around the world. We are doing our share to help fill the gaping hole between demand and supply of PPEs for doctors and nurses —some who have resorted to wearing garbage bags for protection. UK Sailmakers’ lofts worldwide are “retooling” from producing racing and cruising sails to stitching together protective isolation gowns, mask and face shields. Non-porous materials ranging from spinnaker cloth to Tyvek can be seen running under the needles of UK Sailmakers’ sewing machines.
The PPE production was first conceived by UK Sailmakers Norway where the virus hit hard early. Mehmet Taylan gave away scores of isolation gowns to local doctors and dentists. The UK Sailmakers lofts in New York and the Pacific Northwest have both made refinements on the design and material selection. UK Sailmakers has been sharing our designs with other sailmakers around the world so that they can help their communities as well.
UK Sailmakers New York has delivered PPEs to local hospitals in Westchester County, NY. “We only found out about the Montefiore shortage when some of our customers shared that they have kids working at Montefiore without adequate PPEs,” said the loft’s Emmett Dickheiser. “These gowns may only be a drop in the bucket, but it’s a start!”
UK Sailmakers in the Pacific Northwest has provided enough Stage 3 isolation gowns that a local clinic has been able to stay open. To speed up the production process and to let stay-at-home sewers feel like they are pitching in, UK Sailmakers Chicago is supplying the cut pieces that a local sewing club is stitching together.
Spinnaker cloth has proved to be a good material for gowns that can be reused with proper washing and sterilizing. Shown are multi colored gowns made by UK Sailmakers Ireland, which hopes the colors will brighten up the mood in overwhelmed hospital. Besides being cheerful and easy to sew, spinnaker cloth makes gowns that can be used multiple times with proper washing and sterilization techniques. Mehmet Taylan of UK Sailmakers Norway has run the costs comparing the multi-use gowns versus what local hospitals are paying for single use gowns to show how much money they can save.
UK Sailmakers Spain is producing 300 gowns per week for the central hospital in their home town of Malaga. UK Sailmakers Ukraine, located in the town of Kherson on the Black Sea, is also making gowns for their local hospitals. Alexander Muhkin said, “I was shocked to learn that the doctors and nurses only have only one jacket per day for visiting sick people; they are not protected. Hospitals are waiting for supplies to be flown in from China, which is not happening.”
Thank you to these and all the other UK Sailmakers lofts that are pitching in to help keep health care workers healthy so that they can help the world get back to the “old normal” that includes going sailing!