HAVERHILL — When the Javits Center in New York City needed pillows for patients who have been infected by the coronavirus, Borden Textile answered the call.
The manufacturer, located in the Ward Hill Industrial Park, received the order for 20,000 medical pillows March 27 at around noon, according to Guy Pappalardo, the company's director of manufacturing.
The crew went to work, the high-performance sewing machines hummed and by the morning of March 30, 20,000 pillows were loaded into two 53-foot tractor trailers, Pappalardo said. The cargo rested on 26 4-foot-by-4-foot pallets.
Each loaded pallet was 102 inches high; the tractor trailers had a capacity of 107 inches.
"It squeezed in," Pappalardo said.
Borden Textile is not a large manufacturing firm – not yet, at least. Besides Pappalardo and chief executive officer James Polakiewicz, the company employs eight workers.
This outfit certainly qualifies as a small business and is new to Haverhill. Polakiewicz, who lives in Middleton, said he bought two companies in Long Island City and Brooklyn, New York, combined them into one entity and moved the operation to Haverhill.
Borden Textile LLC officially started business Jan. 1, 2018. Besides the products that are now at the Javits Center, the company makes a wide variety of pillows.
The Soundpillow was designed for people struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. It is equipped with speakers and an iPod so one can hear therapeutic sounds and music, Pappalardo explained.
Veterans and military hospitals have purchased many of these, he said.
Another pillow is designed for people who use a CPAP machine to help them sleep soundly. A honeycomb-shaped fiber on one side of the pillow acts as a cooling agent.
The company received a patent for its sciatica pillow, Polakiewicz said. Shaped like a bicycle seat, it fits over the buttocks and eases the pain caused by sciatic nerve damage, he said.
The cozy seat helps those who need to use wheelchairs.
The material inside Borden's products is usually polyester, although they make some pillows with real down and feathers, from ducks and geese.
Besides its specialized products, the company manufactures regular pillows for homes. Bed Beth & Beyond sells pillows made by Borden Textile, Pappalardo said.
More recently, the company has begun producing face masks.
"We're trying to be good citizens," said Pappalardo, who was raised in Salem, N.H. and now lives in Methuen. "We can respond quickly."