Clothes and Cremation: What’s Common Practice?

Clothes and Cremation: What’s Common Practice?
Do you have questions about clothes for cremation? In this post we’re going over how people are dressed for cremation and what factors can affect the decision.

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You’ve probably heard that traditional burials are pretty harmful to the environment. It’s one reason why a lot more people today are choosing cremation. 

Cremation tends to be greener than a conventional burial, but that might not be true in all cases. The practices used by the crematorium and the choices a family makes largely determine how green a cremation will be.

One factor that needs to be considered is the clothing that the deceased wears, if they wear any at all. A lot of thought goes into what is worn during a viewing or funeral service, but what about the actual cremation?

Clothing and Conventional Cremation

Are people clothed when they’re cremated? The short answer is they can be clothed or unclothed. 

At a conventional crematorium whether or not the deceased is dressed is up to the family. These crematoriums are fairly open to any kind of clothing. Some funeral home crematoriums also sell “funeral clothing” that’s meant for cremation if the family wants a simple option. 

Whenever the family has opted for a direct cremation without a viewing, the deceased is usually cremated in the clothing that they are in when they arrive at the crematorium. The family should have an opportunity to dress their loved one before transport or can request that the crematorium dress the deceased before cremation. 

What you have to be most conscious of is accessories. Many accessories are made of materials that can’t be cremated because they aren’t combustible or could explode. Metals and plastics generally can’t be cremated. There may also be state regulations on what can be cremated.

Clothing and Green Cremation

If you’re among the growing number of people who want the greenest cremation possible the options are more limited. A green crematorium is going to avoid incinerating any unnatural materials that may release toxic fumes when ignited. However, all-natural fabrics such as cotton and wool are typically fine for green cremation. 

Another option is to have the deceased wrapped in a cotton sheet. There are also special shroads that can be used in green cremation.

Who Has Final Say on Clothing During the Cremation?

The answer isn’t universal across all crematoriums. All crematoriums are going to set their own guidelines, which includes what is acceptable for cremation. At conventional crematoriums that aren’t as concerned with environmental impact the decision is essentially up to the family. 

What Happens to the Clothing During Cremation?

You’re probably wondering if ashes from the clothing are mixed in with the remains if the deceased is cremated fully clothed. The cremation chamber is heated to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which should completely incinerate the clothing. That said, it is presumably possible that fabric ashes could end up in the remains. 

What About Water Cremation?

The information above is related to flame-based cremations. But that isn’t the only option available today. More and more states are allowing water cremation, also known as aquamation. This process uses a water/alkali solution rather than flames. 

For the water cremation process, the deceased can’t be dressed in clothes. The process breaks the body down into natural components, but many fabrics wouldn’t be disintegrated. However, most crematoriums offering water cremation will wrap the body in a biodegradable shroud. 

Have more questions about the cremation process? You can call, email or text the team at Green Cremation Texas any time of day to learn more about clothing during cremation and how green cremation is differs from conventional servies.

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