When someone is buried the family tends to either dress them in their favorite everyday attire or something nice like a suit or dress. Long ago when open-air cremations were the norm people were covered in ceremonial cremation clothing or shrouds. But what about direct cremation?
Modern-day direct cremation is a little more ambiguous. Many families aren’t sure how the process goes and what’s the norm if you choose to forgo a viewing and funeral service. That’s why we’ve created a quick over that explains all of the details about what’s worn during a direct cremation so you’re fully prepared.
Who Chooses the Clothing for Direct Cremation?
Does the family choose the cremation clothing or the crematorium? Are clothes even cremated with the body?
Choosing clothing for the deceased is part of the process of preparing a body for cremation. In most cases, the family is going to choose what the deceased wears for the cremation. The crematorium may have some guidelines or restrictions, but ultimately the decision is up to the next of kin. With direct cremation, the deceased may also be cremated in what they were transported in or a cremation cloth.
5 Considerations for What’s Worn During Cremation
Now that you know who’s in control of the clothing, it’s time for a few special considerations. Thinking the clothing selection through now could save time and angst in the long run.
#1 – The Requests of the Deceased
First and foremost, if the deceased laid out their requests for what should be worn in advance, that should take priority. Even if they requested to be cremated in their expensive fur coat and designer shoes, so be it.
#2 – Their Favorite Attire
If there isn’t a request from the deceased, often the family chooses an outfit that was a favorite of the deceased. It’s usually something that they regularly wore in life or that was identifiable to them. At the same time, if there’s a clothing item with special meaning or that’s nostalgic for a loved one, then you may want to keep it out of the selection.
#3 – Natural Materials That Minimize Air Pollutants
Some people prefer to dress the deceased in natural fibers like 100% cotton, linen and wool. The purpose is to minimize the toxins that are released into the air. Synthetic fabrics are made with chemicals, oil and other substances that release toxic air pollutants when they’re incinerated.
#4 – What the Crematorium Will and Won’t Allow
Most crematoriums are going to have limitations on what can be placed in a retort along with the deceased, and that includes clothing. Make sure you are clear about what isn’t allowed before arranging services if the clothing selection is significant or special.
#5 – Make Sure Jewelry Has Been Removed
Something that you won’t want the deceased to wear is jewelry. All jewelry should be removed prior to the deceased arriving at the crematorium. If not, jewelry should be preferably removed before the cremation. Some metals can survive the high temperatures inside the retort, but most jewelry will be damaged during the process or it could damage the retort. That’s also part of the reason why some medical devices are removed before cremation occurs.
Direct Cremate can help you plan out each step of the cremation, including guidance on what clothing to choose. You can give our team a call, text or email any time that’s most convenient for you.