Sewing Masks for Donations

Learn how to sew masks for donation to help protect patients and our team of health care professionals by bolstering our inventory of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

You can slow the spread of COVID-19, and protect “at risk” populations by joining the national movement of volunteers who have started to sew masks.

This national outpouring of support was inspired by the Center for Disease Control's guidance that fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted.

Below is a guide for community members who wish sew masks for donation. CVMC staff will be wearing cloth masks in non-clinical settings.

Important Infection Prevention

Before starting this project, please verify that you have not:

  • Been in contact with anyone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath.

If either of these circumstances are the case, please self-quarantine rather than making masks

Instructions for Making Masks


It is most helpful to use a standard pattern to ensure proper fit and function. For your convenience, you may use the following instructions (which includes cloth ties instead of elastic).


Mask fabric should be made of tightly woven material. Outer fabric should be heavier and non-stretch fabric such as denim, duck cloth, canvas, or twill.

Recommended fabric for the inner lining and filter pocket can be other cotton, cotton-blend non-stretch fabric. It can be thinner and softer, but again recommended minimal or non-stretch.

Must be laundered in HOT water prior to sewing to prevent future shrinkage.

Polyester or other less breathable fabric will not work as well, due to moisture produced when breathing.

If using denim or other fabric that is being “recycled”, please be sure it is clean and in good shape. Worn or dirty fabric will not be protective.

We prefer fabric ties to elastic loops. Fabric ties account for different head sizes, and are more washable.

There will need to be 4 ties (one tie on each of the 4 corners). Ties should be approx. ¼ inch in width, sewn in such a way that there are no frayed edges, and long enough to be tied into a bow on the top of the head (for the top corner and behind the head for the bottom corner).

Masks with pockets for a filter, and a twist tie in the nose bridge for fit and comfort are also preferable.


Completed Masks

Enclose completed masks in a closed plastic bag or closed plastic box. Deliver your masks Monday-Friday 7:30 am-3:30 pm to the CVMC loading dock at rear of our main building (130 Fisher Road, Berlin Vt.). Just ring the bell!

CVMC will launder them prior to use so you do not need to wash them.

Questions? Call our donation line: 802.371.4690