Burial Gowns and Couture Shrouds

If a loved one has made their wishes clear regarding funeral arrangements, including whether they want to be buried or cremated and what clothes they wish to be dressed in for the service, then these requests should be respected. However, if a person dies suddenly or without making any specific requests, then family members will need to decide what to dress them in at the service.

Some people have a preference for a more formal look and choose to be dressed in a suit or gown for their funeral. For other people, it’s important that they be buried in the clothes that they were most comfortable and familiar with wearing in life. That could mean jeans and a T-shirt or hoodie, for example.

What is considered appropriate clothing for a funeral service is often influenced by culture, religion and tradition. For instance, some faiths or cultures have rules about which clothing can be worn at a funeral service, including requiring that women wear long sleeves and not revealing necklines. Similarly, some cultures require that a person be shrouded at a burial service.

This is where the term “burial gown” comes from. A burial gown is a type of dress that has been designed specifically for someone who has died. It is often made from lightweight material such as cotton and will have a close-fitting shape so that the body doesn’t stretch out of the casket. Some funeral directors sell burial gowns to help make the process a little easier for families.

For many, a visitation service followed by a funeral is an opportunity to spend some time with their loved ones in death, before they are buried or cremated. During this time, loved ones may be encouraged to bring favourite items of clothing that they want their loved one to wear. Depending on their preferences and the funeral type, this might include a pair of pyjamas or dressing gown, slippers or even their favourite hat. Artist-maker Yuli Somme (pictured below) makes what are known as couture shrouds – coverings that double as a burial gown – in beautiful felted wool from her studio in rural Devon.

Choosing clothing for a funeral can be difficult and emotional for those involved. But if family members are able to find clothing that they feel best represents their loved one and ensures that their final wishes are carried out, then it can be a comforting and positive experience.

Finally, if any family members are not sure what their loved ones have requested, then it is always best to ask or clarify. A funeral can be a very confusing time and it would be a shame to have any misunderstandings about what is and isn’t appropriate clothing for the occasion. A funeral director or someone close to the deceased can offer assistance and guidance. For more information, contact us today. Our team of caring and compassionate professionals are here for you. We’re committed to providing exceptional care and respect for your loved ones.