As was the case with a number of companies at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, top executives at Imperial Sports gathered for daily phone calls to discuss the many issues presented by this unprecedented plague and how to address them best. One frequent topic was finding ways to retain employees even as demand for company products shrunk in the face of lockdowns and economic downturns. And that led to the idea of making cloth face masks in the cut-and-sew factory Imperial operates in the town of Winona, Missouri.
“Traditionally, we made our tour visors there along with some other items,” said David Shaffer, vice president of sales and marketing at Imperial. “And we saw transitioning to face masks as a way to enable our workers there to keep their job(s).
“We also believed we could make a better product at a better price, while we helped make it possible for golf clubs and courses to open sooner and more completely by providing them with masks for their members as well as their employees.”
As the company has done with headgear, Imperial also offered the ability to customize face masks for individual clubs by adorning them with the appropriate logos.
Available in five different colors, the Imperial face masks have two layers. The outer one is made of soft and brushed stretched-cotton twill fabric with 2 percent Lycra and the second a non-woven liner. An adjustable nose bridge is sewn into the edge so the mask stays close to a person’s face, while toggles on the elastic ear straps may be used to adjust length and tension.