Washable protective aprons for the death care industry
Smart Textiles and Science Park Borås are helping to develop and produce protective aprons for the death care industry in Sweden. Together with the company K.A.P Sweden, washable aprons made from an approved overstock material, can now be delivered to staff at funeral homes and others working in the industry.
When the Swedish Funeral Directors’ Association (SBF, for its Swedish name, Sveriges Begravningsbyråers Förbund) requested safe and washable protective aprons for its staff, the company K.A.P. Design, based in Borås, was quick to act.
Agneta Persson, a tailor and designer at K.A.P Sweden, had already delivered various types of garments for employees in the death care industry prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. The work is based in the large studio on the second floor of the Textile Fashion Center, which she shares with other entrepreneurs.
In connection with Covid-19, there has been a decrease in regular orders. This led Agneta and her partner Joakim Tellenmark, Sales and Marketing Manager at K.A.P Sweden, to think about what employees needed instead, with regards to the changed conditions.
When the question was put to the Swedish Funeral Directors’ Association, they didn’t have to wait for an answer – protective aprons!
“This is my profession, so it feels good to be able to offer assistance where it is needed,” says Agneta Persson of K.A.P Sweden.
Science Park Borås machine hall at the ready
In order to address the need, Agneta Persson turned to Mathias Bräck, Innovation Technician at Science Park Borås, to see if the cutting could be done differently, so that she wouldn’t have to cut out each apron by hand with scissors.
With the help of Eva Lindell, Research Assistant at Smart Textiles, Agneta and Mathias worked on the original pattern and adapted it digitally to the cutting machine in the DO-tank Center, Science Park Borås’s innovation environment.
“A washable apron can hopefully replace several hundred disposable aprons. That’s why this project is important. Death care staff are a professional group that may not be a priority when it comes to protective clothing, but we think that everyone who has a need in this situation should have it met,” says Mathias Bräck at Science Park Borås.
Approved fabric from local producer
The fabric used is a black, waterproof, and washable nylon fabric from FOV Fabrics AB in Borås. The fabric was left over from previous production and there are as many as eight thousand meters of fabric available. The water resistance is 5000 mm, which can be compared to a water gauge of 1000 mm for disposable aprons.
“It means something very special to us that the aprons are made of a washable material from a local textile producer. We shouldn’t move backwards when it comes to the sustainability mindset simply because we are in times of crisis,” says Mathias Bräck.
The first order of protective aprons has been delivered and now the corresponding industry association in Norway is also awaiting delivery.
“It feels great to be able to help the industry, which, like everyone else, has had significant problems in finding good quality protective clothing,” says Joakim Tellenmark, Sales and Marketing Manager at K.A.P Sweden.