Burial attire can reflect a person’s personal style, cultural background, and religious beliefs. It can also play an important role in a funeral service or memorial when it is worn by loved ones. While some people choose to dress casually in the days leading up to their burial, others prefer to select a favorite garment that holds sentimental value and would have been worn during their lifetime. When selecting clothing for a loved one, it is important to consider the fabric, color, fit, and ease of putting on. It is also helpful to check with a funeral home or cemetery regarding their policies on clothing and personal items.

The majority of burial clothing was mass-produced in the United States during the industrialization of funerals in the wake of the Civil War and the acceptance of embalming as a process that allows families to have their loved ones returned in a preserved state. The garments, such as the gown shown here, are designed to be easily put on a dead body, with ties in the back for easy closure and drawstrings that can be adjusted to accommodate any changes in size after death.

Some garments were dyed with natural dyes such as madder to enhance their appearance, but this was not always a consideration in the selection of clothing for burial purposes. A study of the biodegradability of wool fabrics found that soil types and microflora have a significant impact on the degradation rate of the fibers. In addition, the study determined that the addition of chemicals to the textiles increased the biodegradability rate significantly.

While some individuals plan out their funeral attire in advance, it is not uncommon for a person to pass away without making their wishes known. When this occurs, family members and friends may need to make choices on their behalf. It is often best to stick to a person’s preferred style of clothing for their viewing and burial, and to take into account any religious or cultural guidelines that they would like to be adhered to.

When choosing clothing for a loved one, it is vital to remember that the garments must be comfortable and easy to put on, as the individual has been in a coma or similar state since their passing. Using soft, breathable materials is the best option for this reason, as these fabrics will be gentle on the skin. It is also a good idea to consider the physical changes that have occurred in the deceased individual, such as a change in weight or body size, when selecting an outfit.

While it is not a pleasant task, choosing the right clothing for a loved one who has passed on can be an opportunity to pay tribute to their unique personality and to honor their memory. By considering their preferred style of clothing, any religious or cultural guidelines that should be followed, and any special personal items that may be meaningful, the choice can be an uplifting and remembrance-filled experience.