From Furniture to Face Shields

Following the outbreak of WW2, we stopped crafting furniture and turned our attention to sewing parachutes to support the war effort. Now our nation has found itself in the midst of another challenge. Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, one of our sofa suppliers, Roger Lewis, has dedicated itself to making face shields for Key Workers.

Roger Lewis during COVID-19

Normally, Roger Lewis is the sofa manufacturer behind some of our most popular designs. Now, to help support the incredible work our key workers are doing, Roger Lewis has switched its attention to crafting much-needed face shields.

It’s working alongside Foldall, a Bath-based not-for-profit initiative that’s helping to combat the nation-wide shortage of PPE. This equipment is essential in protecting NHS staff and other Key Workers against infection.

Masks being made in the Roger Lewis workshop

Roger Lewis has been helping the Foldall team to improve and streamline the manufacturing process since it launched at the end of March. It’s using its speciality machinery to help produce visors and head straps for the face shields.

If you’d like to support Foldall on its mission to create even more face shields then you can donate here.

Heal’s During WWII

Upon the outbreak of the Second World War, Heal’s stopped crafting furniture to support the war effort. We transformed our upper-floor workshops into parachute production lines for the Ministry of Aircraft Production.

The operation grew rapidly and by the summer of 1940 the workshops had expanded into our showrooms. We even had to set up more sewing machines to cope with demand.

Heal's staff making parachutes during WWII

As historian James Taylor explains, “A dramatic rise in consumer expenditure was interrupted by the Second World War. Heal’s, like so many companies, turned from the manufacture of goods for civilian consumption in peacetime to producing the military equipment needed in a war for Britain’s survival.”