The Citadel Tailor Shop steps up to help keep campus co-workers healthy

Photo: Margaret Middleton, a long time seamstress in The Citadel Tailor Shop, sews cotton face masks for campus staff

The Citadel Tailor Shop would normally be inundated right now with uniform needs for commencement but with cadets away due to COVID-19, commencement will be virtual, thus many racks in the shop are empty.

Citadel President Gen. Glenn Walters picks up cloth face masks for he and his wife from the college’s tailor shop while visiting, from a distance, with shop assistant Tonie Veile. The Walters continue to live in their campus home during the pandemic.

The Citadel President, Gen. Glenn Walters saw an opportunity and asked the director of the tailor shop, Rick Gutierrez, if his team could make face masks.

Masks made by Citadel Tailor Shop employees Margaret Middleton and Karen Stevens are seen at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday, April 20, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

Though cadets and students are away, there are still employees on campus who needed to keep facilities running and in shape, and they needed face masks to stay safe. The resounding answer from the tailor shop team: YES!

“It is satisfying to us to be able to help keep our coworkers on campus safe, ” said Gutierrez. “We have two seamstresses working on masks in the shop and one working from home. Our masks are made from 100% tight woven cotton, like a quilting cotton. The interfacing is R911 pellon that gets placed in between the two fabrics that gets sewn in along with the elastic that stretches out around the ears.”

Empty uniform racks surround Citadel Tailor Shop director, Rick Gutierrez, as he greets staff coming to the shop to pick up face masks