Burial attire is an important part of a person’s funeral, as it can leave a lasting impression on loved ones who have remained behind. Many families choose to dress their deceased family members in burial outfits that reflect their life. For some, this involves selecting formal attire, while others prefer something more casual. A funeral director will ensure that the deceased is dressed in an outfit that is dignified and comfortable. Those who are concerned about how the clothing will decompose after the body has been buried can ask to wear an outfit for a viewing before the funeral service.
Traditionally, men are dressed in suits and women are dressed in dresses or funeral gowns. These garments are often made of cotton, silk or wool, which tend to break down over time in a natural way. However, other fabrics such as polyester can also be used.
The clothing worn by a deceased person can also help in keeping their body warm and dry. The material also helps to slow down the body’s natural deterioration, which is accelerated by moisture. For this reason, it’s best to avoid clothing made of linen or other fabrics that will absorb moisture and deteriorate more quickly.
If the deceased individual was a member of a particular religion, they may have specific requirements regarding their attire in death. For example, some Buddhists believe that the departed should be dressed in plain clothes to symbolize virtue. Other religions may have their own requirements in regards to a person’s clothing in death, and it is important to consult with a religious leader for guidance on this matter.
Some families dress their deceased loved ones in clothing that they wore during their lives, especially if they had a special piece of jewelry that was sentimental to them. This is usually acceptable if the deceased did not specifically state otherwise in their will or obituary. It is important to note, though, that any clothing that will be worn by the deceased after the funeral will not likely be returned to the family as it will be cremated with the body.
For parents who have lost a child, the loss is especially hard to endure. One mother in Wisconsin, Hazel Jones, has turned her workshop into a sewing room, where she makes tiny outfits for babies who die before birth. Her work, called Mattie’s Memory, was inspired by her own son who was stillborn at 21 weeks and buried swaddled in a blanket. Jones is always looking for donations of materials and sewing supplies such as thread, needles, scissors and seam rippers. If you have any old formalwear that you would like to donate, you can contact Jones through her website. She can also give you a list of places where you can drop off the items to be donated. In addition to outfits, Jones also sews hats and bonnets for infants who are stillborn or born too early. She also has quilts that are donated to hospitals for use with NICU patients.