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Are Bodies Cremated With Clothes On?

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Whether or not bodies are cremated with clothes depends on your cultural, religious, and personal preferences. Some religions or cultural traditions may require specific cremation garments or shrouds. Learn when bodies are cremated with clothes, the purpose of a shroud, and how to dress your loved one for direct cremation.

Generally, the body is dressed in clothing before being placed in a casket or cremation container for the cremation process. Families often include items in the cremation container, such as religious objects and flowers. Not all materials may be safely cremated. Certain materials, such as synthetic fibers, release toxic gases during cremation. Cremation providers, including Tulip, have safety guidelines about the type of clothing that can be worn and any items or accessories that may be included with the body. 

When Are Bodies Cremated with Clothes On?

A traditional cremation arranged with a funeral home will include a dressing before a viewing. Direct cremation services, on the other hand, do not include viewings or dressing services. Families have more control over what clothing and objects might be included in their loved one’s cremation based on cultural, religious, and personal preferences. 

For example, families might follow the Hindu tradition of dressing their loved ones in white clothing or wrapped in a simple shroud. Married women who predeceased their spouses are dressed in red clothes. Other Eastern religions, including Sikhism and Jainism, prefer simple garments. In contrast, families may opt for military or formal attire when cremating the deceased.

Funeral Shrouds for Cremation

A funeral shroud is a cloth used to wrap the body of a deceased person before burial or cremation. It is an ancient tradition practiced by various cultures throughout history. The purpose of a funeral shroud is to provide modesty and dignity to the deceased and facilitate the process of burial or cremation.

Depending on cultural and religious customs, funeral shrouds can vary in design and material. They are often made of simple, biodegradable fabrics like linen, cotton, or muslin. Some shrouds may be plain, while others may incorporate specific religious or symbolic elements. The shroud is typically wrapped around the body so it is completely covered and secured before cremation.

Dressing Your Loved One for Direct Cremation

While traditional funeral homes often include dressing in their services, more and more people are opting for direct cremation instead due to its affordability and simplicity. If you choose direct cremation with Tulip, dressing your loved one or providing the clothing before your loved one is removed from their place of passing.  

If personal belongings are collected at the time of removal (for example, if your loved one died in the hospital), a Tulip family care member will clarify if your family wants these items returned to them or cremated. Sometimes, personal items cannot be returned if they present a bio-hazard or other concern.

Some may find the idea of dressing their loved one for cremation to be intimidating. However, many find peace and even closure in washing, grooming, and dressing their loved ones after their passing. You might have specific rituals and items to use during this process following your religious, cultural, or ethnic traditions. 

Here’s how to dress your loved one before direct cremation:

  • Remove the clothing you do not want your loved one cremated in. In many cases, it’s usually easier to cut the clothing off than to remove it as you normally would.
  • If you wash your loved one for personal or religious reasons, dry their skin thoroughly. 
  • It is easier to dress your loved one in clothes without buttons, zippers, or snaps or with as few fasteners as possible. 
  • To put on a shirt, blouse, skirt, or dress, carefully split the garment straight up the back. You can then dress your loved one by laying the garment over them and wrapping it around them. (For shirts or dresses, slide the sleeves up their arms first before tucking the back sections underneath them.)
  • To dress your loved one in pants or shorts, compress the pants or shorts so that the bottom cuffs are pressed against the seat of the garment. Raise your legs and slide the garment onto both legs, pulling it up as high as possible. Roll them onto one side, and pull the waistband loops to their waist. Repeat with the opposite side, and fasten the garment closed.
  • You may add socks, shoes, and other desired accessories. 
  • Gently brush or comb their hair, apply makeup, and perform other desired grooming activities.

What Comes Next?

After you have dressed and prepared your loved one, Tulip Cremation takes care of the rest under the direction of licensed funeral directors. We arrange the transportation of your loved one to the crematory and take care of all the necessary paperwork. Your loved one will be cremated with their clothing, provided their garments are safe to cremate. 

Our dedicated care team is available 24/7 online or by phone should you have any questions about what materials can be included in your loved one’s cremation.

After cremation, we’ll return your loved one’s ashes in a simple container or in an urn you select from our Memorial Store. We can ship to any address within the United States via USPS Priority Mail Express. Call our care team at (844) 942-4909 to make arrangements by phone or online.