JM to Make Medical Gown Fabrics in SC


Production shift responds to increased demand

Johns Manville has begun making nonwoven fabrics for medical gowns at its plant in Spartanburg, SC. The initiative comes in response to urgent demand for disposable medical gowns used in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.


“There is a desperate need in North America and in Europe for medical gowns,” says John Vasuta, president of Johns Manville’s Engineered Products business. “Our teams are working quickly to create solutions and manufacture a new coated polyester spunbond nonwoven fabric. We are going through unprecedented times – so every step to support healthcare workers and others on the front lines helps right now.”


This is the second move made by Johns Manville to quickly develop and launch a product that can improve the safety of people in potential direct contact with the COVID-19 virus. In April, production started in Richland, MS, of nonwoven media for the manufacturing of face masks.


“Given the urgent need for action,” Vasuta said, “we quickly decided to build on our own capabilities and develop a coated product to supply the domestic medical gown manufacturing industry.”


The new polyester spunbond nonwoven is designed for the production of Level 3 medical gowns. “The fabric offers superior liquid barrier performance compared to materials used for Level 1 and Level 2 medical gowns, while also providing comfort and stitch-strength,” says Souvik Nandi, director nonwovens technology at Johns Manville Engineered Products.


The JM plant in Spartanburg employs 100 people and produces a variety of polyester nonwoven products for the use in mainly filtration, roofing and specialty applications using JM’s proprietary spunbond technology.