Manufacturer of religious garments now making masks

Courtesy photoAmra Malicbegovic of Theological Threads holds up protective masks made by the Beverly company.

BEVERLY — A small company that has been making religious garments for 40 years is now turning out thousands of protective masks for health care workers and first responders.

Theological Threads says it has made "a few thousand" masks over the last two weeks in its manufacturing plant on Park Street in Beverly. The masks have been donated to hospitals in Beverly, Salem, Gloucester and Boston, as well as to the Beverly police and fire departments, according to Amra Malicbegovic, the company's general manager.

"We are a small company just trying to do our part in this crisis," Malicbegovic said.

Malicbegovic said friends and family have joined Theological Threads' six workers to make to make the masks, including on weekends. A volunteer has been delivering the masks to the hospitals and first-responders, she said.

Theological Threads began in 1981 and makes garments for priests as well as other religious items, including tapestries and Bible markers. Malicbegovic said the company has plenty of a fabric and elastics needed to make the masks, and an "expert seamstress" who has ben guiding volunteers.

Theological Threads also has an embroidery and gift shop on Park Street called Gordon's of Beverly.

Masks and other protective equipment have been in short supply during the coronavirus epidemic, putting health care workers and others at risk of contracting the virus. Companies and volunteers around the country are trying to fill their void by making the masks.

"We all have to work together," Malicbegovic said.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2535 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

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