CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A local group is helping make full body jumpsuits for healthcare workers at Novant Health and Atrium Health.
CLTgivePPE is a group in Charlotte that is collecting PPE and helping sew needed items. Over the last few weeks, a few of their sewers have been trying to create a prototype for a full body jumpsuit.
“In a lot of other international countries you may have seen all these people rigged up in full complete coverage,” Dr. Sheila Natarajan said. "If we had that available, that would be the ideal.”
Dr. Sheila Natarajan is a physical medicine physician and leads CLTgivePPE.
She says, since the coronavirus is spread through droplets, full coverage is one of the best defenses against the virus. But these suits are in short supply.
That's why the group gathered up sewers in Charlotte to help out.
“There are four different sized suits, and each one is oversized,” sewer English Griggs said. “So there is a huge range of people that could fit into the size combinations."
The sewers came up with the patterns to make the suit after collaborating with the apparel software company Gerber Technology. This organization has created a PPE Task Force to provide advice and pattern downloads.
“I called them up,” sewer Jan Kurdin said. “I hadn’t worked with them in years, but they graciously handed them down. We tweaked them, and I have someone transfer them into a PDF and we made the pattern.”
Organizers say they hope to make a lot more jumpsuits now that they have a prototype.
“We have gotten requests from other states for the jumps suits,” said Tracey Ratte, who is organizing the sewers. “We also plan to put the pattern up on our website. So it can be sourced by other states.”
It’s a grassroots movement that could have far-reaching impacts.
“Who knew that the talent of being able to sew could help during the coronavirus,” Griggs said.
“This is something that really, really helps save lives,” Kurdin said.
In order to make more suits, CLTgivePPE needs waterproof or water resistant fabric donations. To learn more, visit their website.