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Dina Stander and Sarah Strong

Whether it comes from a plant's fibers, or an animal's fur, or the spit of a clam like the handful of rare byssus here; natural fibers are processed through washing, soaking, pounding, carding, spinning or felting. And there is a moment when the fibers arrive at the right juxtaposition to one another, in just the right conditions. And in that moment with the motion of hand, tool, spindle or wheel, the fibers  bond together to make something strong from something so delicate. A strand to weave, threads to pull, cloth to sew, hands given work with purpose, a shroud that is more than it's pieces.


The author Ray Bradbury wrote: "We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." 

After a decade of study and work as a Funeral Celebrant I recognized a growing call from my community for better resources for hands on after-death care. Last Dance Shrouds is a response to this call. Working closely with death and burial, I noticed that Funeral Directors and Burial Ground Managers will also be well-served by a line of shrouding products to offer to families looking for natural burial alternatives.  

A 'Last Dance' shroud bridges the aesthetic spans between utilitarian and elegant, practical and whimsical, traditional and trending.

The ongoing design process at Last Dance Shrouds™ is a collaboration between a Funeral Celebrant and a Seamstress; friends whose lives are connected through community and joie de vivre. The purposeful nature of our product has lent itself to a contemplative production process; and so, by necessity, we are thinking deeply and walking close to the edge. We are committed to taking the utmost care as we walk with you.

One aspect of developing a business is looking at your ecological relationships. In the fabric world, this means gaining an understanding of the fibershed we are a part of (like a watershed, and then think cloth, and let the thought meander from farm-to-production-to-use). Creating a product used in natural burial means we have to think about where the fiber comes from, how it is grown, milled, woven, dyed, transported, marketed, used, reused, up-cycled, recycled, etc. Wherever we can, we use organic cotton, hemp, or other natural fibers that are ecologically dyed, including field-grown colors. Because there are all sorts of changes, all the time, in what is available to and from our fabric suppliers, we do our best to maintain the qualities of thread count and texture that give our shrouds such a comforting feel. Our Shirtsleeve shroud is made from repurposed shirts, you can send us your own. 

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