coronavirus

Fort Worth Leather Company Begins to Manufacture Medical Gowns for Health Care Workers

The gowns were clinically approved Friday, according to the company owner

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A Fort Worth company is shifting gears, moving from manufacturing leather goods to medical gowns as the calls for more protective equipment in the United States grow.

Saddleback Leather Co., based in Fort Worth, has been operating since 2003 selling durable leather products. Owner Dave Munson said their products were made in central Mexico.

As of this week, Munson said they put a hold on producing leather products and began to manufacture gowns for health care workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

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“We’re really good at sewing. If we can make these briefcases and backpacks, we can make gowns,” he said.

Munson said the gowns would be made of cotton-polyester.

“We’re going to all over the place to get fabric. Any kind of fabric that is the right weight of fabric that’s still protective. We’re going to buy it everywhere,” he said. “We made prototypes the week before last week. Last Monday, I received these six prototypes. Six gowns, gave them to doctors – showed them around, sent them out to different hospitals who were asking about them.”

Munson said they were clinically approved Friday, and at least one U.S. health care system has placed an order.

For Munson and his wife, co-owner Suzette Munson, making medical gowns is new territory.

“Of course, we’ve talked about making a lot of different things, but never medical. We are not physicians, nurses or anything like that,” Suzette Munson said.

However, she said it’s a challenge they’re happy to take on.

“I don’t think when I die I’m going to regret helping other people. That is really who we are. It’s our heart. It’s who we are,” she said.

To learn more about the Saddleback Leather Co., click here.

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