About Us

Gaskets, Inc. including our subsidiary KAREWEAR®, is a 100% Employee owned company dedicated to bringing you industry leading products from high performance seals/gaskets, expansion joints and Karewear safety clothing. Every product that we make is 100% made in the U.S.A.

In 1946 Reed Bigelow and Fred Otting purchased Racine Glove Company and relocated to Rio, WI. Racine Glove Company expanded into safety clothing that was used by NASA ground safety crews when Astronaut Alan Shepard went into space.

In 1961 Bigelow and Otting, along with Fred Cramer and Loren Gilbert, formed Gaskets, Incorporated. Gaskets, Inc. started small with die-cut gaskets. In 1965 the Racine Glove Company building caught fire. The companies found refuge in any small space they could find in Rio while they reconstructed. By the late 1960’s Gaskets, Inc. added tadpole seals/gaskets, and expansion joints. Gaskets, Inc. current location was constructed in 1977. In 1981 Racine Glove Company was sold.  In 1983 and again in 1988 Gaskets, Inc. added onto the current facility that is now over 21,000 sq. ft.

In 1991 Karen Mattacotti (daughter of Bigelow) became owner of Gaskets, Inc. In 2002 Gaskets, Inc. rebranded their safety clothing division to KAREWEAR®. In 2006 KAREWEAR® introduced the world’s first ergonomic apron that is able to safely breakaway if caught in machinery.

In 2019 Karen Mattacotti retired from Gaskets, Inc.  Prior to leaving the Company, Karen transferred 100% ownership of the company to the Gaskets, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan making Gaskets, Inc. one of the few 100% ESOP companies in the state of Wisconsin. This form of ownership will help ensure Gaskets, Inc. would continue to serve our customers with the highest level of customer service, expertise and the highest quality U.S.A. made products.  This arrangement also enhances our commitment to our employees and our facility here in Rio, WI.

Fiberglass Rope

This is one of Gaskets Incorporated’s fiberglass rope machines. Gaskets, Incorporated manufactures and distributes fifteen different models of fiberglass rope in various densities and diameters.

Tadpole Seals

This is an example of how craftspeople at Gaskets, Incorporated manufacture custom designed tadpole seals. The seal being sewn in this video has a PTFE coated fiberglass cover with an Inconel® Steel solid mesh core. The design is a type 8 and will be used as a seal between an insulated locker and door for extra low temperature cryogenic processing. Our PTFE seals can be used in applications as cold as -450° F/-267° C.