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Many cultures and religions use or have used shrouds as part of their burial rituals, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. A shroud is a long piece of cloth, usually natural material such as cotton,  linen or bamboo, which is wrapped around a body after it has been prepared for burial. The shrouded body is usually placed directly in the grave without a casket. This simple method uses a minimum of materials while still honoring the dignity of the deceased during burial.

Most funeral homes can supply traditional burial shrouds, such as the Jewish “tachrichim,” or they may be obtained through religious organizations. You can also find shrouds from artisans and small businesses in a variety of styles and designs. Shrouds can be used with or without a biodegradable carrier.