The overwhelming demand for face masks for those on the front lines combating COVID-19 and the growing number who need them for personal protection has catalyzed Hyosung to repurpose its facilities to increase the supply of Creora spandex.
Spandex fiber is a key ingredient in the manufacture of face masks, which have become an essential item for everyone’s wardrobe. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday that he expects face masks to be needed for all to wear as a way to protect people from coronavirus likely until a vaccine is developed and given to the general population.
Spandex is primarily used for making the ear loops and head straps to make the mask fit properly and comfortably on the face. While the majority of face mask production is in China, a growing number of consumer apparel and accessories manufacturers around the world are switching gears to make face masks to help with the personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain.
“Hyosung has converted Creora spandex yarn production to increase supply to the global mask market by 20 times,” Mike Simko, Hyosung’s global marketing director for textiles, said. “This production can make earloops for several billion face masks per month, which will be a significant help to our customers’ production needs. We’ve been fortunate to keep our spandex production operating in all of our international plants to serve local and global communities.”
Face mask production is predicted to increase, as many nations around the world are encouraging people to wear these face coverings in places where social distancing measures are difficult. During the course of the COVID-19 crisis, Hyosung, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, has donated more than $420,000, along with medical supplies, to medical workers caring for coronavirus patients in Daegu, hit hardest by the virus in South Korea, and its adjacent North Gyeongsang province.
Hyosung is a fiber manufacturer for the global textile industry. Its Creora elastane is the world’s largest spandex brand, supplying the broadest range of stretch fiber offerings. The company also produces Mipan nylon and specialty polyester.