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Cremation Practices: Are People Cremated with Clothes On?

Published: October 10, 2022
by John L. Ziegenhein and Sons Funeral Home

How Clothing Works in Different Cremation Services

In traditional cremation, where viewing and other funeral rites are involved, ceremonial clothing is provided by the family or funeral home. The funeral home also takes care of the dressing, including embalming the body to give it a fresher look.

However, if you want to dress your loved one yourself, some funeral homes allow this after the embalming is complete.

On the other hand, the cremation provider does not embalm or dress the body in direct cremation. The deceased is usually covered in a simple sheet before they enter the cremation chamber or whatever they wore before arriving at the cremation facility.

That said, families can still choose special clothing for a loved one, but they have to do the dressing themselves. Before learning how to do this, it’s important to know what clothing and accessories are (not) allowed.

Clothing Materials that Can’t be Cremated

As mentioned in the second paragraph, cremation providers allowed people to be cremated with all kinds of clothes, with some material exceptions. These materials are incombustible and can damage the cremation equipment.

They also pose a safety risk if they are in the cremation chamber while it’s working. Hence, cremation professionals do a routine check to remove these materials before placing the body in the chamber.

If you’re dressing your loved one, here is what you should avoid:

  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Rubber
  • Plastic
  • Synthetic Clothes
  • Battery-Operated  Objects and mechanical devices, i.e., silicone implants, pacemaker, hearing aid, ect.

Materials that can be cremated include:

  • Clothing made from natural materials
  • Wood
  • Cardboard or Paper-Based

Asides from these, it’s also helpful to check with the cremation provider to confirm what’s appropriate for their equipment.

How to Dress Your Loved OneAsides from these, it’s also helpful to check with the cremation provider to confirm what’s appropriate for their equipment.

Affton, MO Cremation Services

If you’re having a direct cremation and want your loved one to wear something special for the process, here’s how to dress them on your own:

1. Start by cutting the clothing with a pair of scissors or gently remove the clothing they had on at the time of death.

2. Use soap, water, and a washcloth to wash the body if you wish to do so. Afterward, use a dry cloth to wipe the skin dry after.

3. To put on shirts, skirts, or dresses, split the garment at the back. Wear the split cloth over the body by wrapping it around them. For sleeved clothes, slide the sleeves up your loved one’s arms before tucking in the back section.

4. To wear pants, compress the bottom cuff with the seat of the garment. Then grab each leg and slide the pant over each one, pulling as high as possible. After, roll the body over and use the belt to drag the pants up to the waist.

If you have the time, you can perform grooming practices like brushing or combing the hair. You can also wear socks, scarves, and shoes to complete the look if they are made of the appropriate materials.

In summary, people are cremated with clothes on, and it’s something you can do yourself or have the funeral home do for you.

Contact us for additional questions about cremation services in Affton, MO. We arrange traditional visitation and funeral ceremony with cremation where we will dress your loved one in respectful clothing. Call us now to speak with our staff.

John L. Ziegenhein and Sons Funeral Homes South County Chapel
4830 Lemay Ferry Rd
| Saint Louis, MO 63129
Tel: 314-894-8444
| Directions
John L. Ziegenhein and Sons Funeral Homes South City Chapel
7027 Gravois Ave
| Saint Louis, MO 63116
Tel: 314-352-2600
| Directions
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