Clothing the dead – it takes some unique tailoring to make garments look good on someone who’s lying down. Funeral directors and morticians also have the challenge of dressing someone who can’t move his or her body!
A.R.K. Garment Company has been in the business of manufacturing burial garments since 1928. The name comes from the last name initials of the three founders – Akerman, Rickman and Komer. Owner Tom Bearman’s grandfather bought out the other two partners, and it has been a family owned and managed business since.
The men’s suits are designed with stylish comfort in mind. They look like store-bought suits, but the jackets have larger than normal arm holes, to make it easier to slip it onto a man who is lying on his back (a supine position).
There are pants that go with the suit, although you don’t see them in this picture. The pants have a drawstring top, rather than a zipper.
“This suit wouldn’t look right on a man who’s standing or sitting,” explained Bearman. “It’s designed to lay flat and look good.”
The ladies dresses also have subtle differences to make it easier for the funeral director to dress the deceased.
If you turned these dresses around, you would notice while the skirt of the dress is intact, there’s a very long slit down the back. This allows the mortician to dress the dead by sliding the dress up over the legs, then gently slip each arm into the sleeves. The edges are tucked under the body and the dress hooks closed at the top. No one can see the opening up the back. Brilliant!
Funeral homes can offer to clothe the deceased with these types of garments, for a price, if the family doesn’t provide an outfit.
A.R.K. Garment Company is based in St. Louis, MO. They don’t yet have a website – they do business the old school way! Call them on the phone if you want to know more – 1-800-325-1007 (at least it’s a toll free number).
2019 Update: LH Design Women’s Burial Garments
Fabulous burial garments and casket draperies by Atlanta-based LH Design were displayed at the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) convention and expo in 2019. Leon Harris has some beautiful dresses – you just have to be dead to wear these.
Need a Cremation Urn?
Need a cremation urn, cremation jewelry, or keepsake urns? Check out A Good Goodbye’s Urn Store. At this online shopping site, you’ll find a wide selection of quality products, the same ones that funeral homes purchase. You can place your order through the secure site, or call 888-317-3099 and speak with a live person.
There are urns of brass, wood, ceramics, marble, and biodegradable options. The jewelry includes options in gold, sterling silver, stainless steel, and glass. There are lovely handmade urns and jewelry, and fingerprint jewelry that can preserve the unique patterns of people and pets in silver or gold. The site also features The Life Chest, beautiful memento storage boxes in a range of styles.
The online store is run by UPD Urns, a respected company with a long track record of providing cremation products to funeral homes. The public can now browse and directly buy the same products carried by funeral homes. The FTC Funeral Rule allows the public to bring their own cremation containers to a funeral home, which must accept it without charging a fee.
You can choose your products and place your order online through the secure site, which accepts payment by Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express and PayPal. If you prefer, call 888-317-3099 and speak with a live person.