We think about nonwoven fabrics pretty often in our everyday lives. We are, after all, nonwoven manufacturers. So, it only makes sense that we’re pretty focused on nonwoven materials in The Great Hereafter as well. Caskets that are lovely pieces of art are certainly desirable but for casket manufacturers and others involved in funeral planning, it’s important to consider other factors in designing an attractive and practical burial unit.
Believe it or not, the funeral industry is fairly big business. According to the National Funeral Director’s Association (NFDA), the U.S. funeral market is estimated to be about a $20.7 billion per year industry. There are over 2.4 million funerals in the U.S. per year. With approximately 60% of Americans choosing a casket over cremation, that’s a lot of burial boxes to be manufactured!
But what do nonwovens have to do with caskets? Caskets are composed of a variety of different features, including: interior lining; commemorative panels on the interior lid; internal lift hardware to tilt the inside of the casket; and exterior features such as ornamental handles. The outer liners are often made of satin, velvet, taffeta and crepe.
So where do nonwovens come in? And what are the benefits of including nonwovens?
- Fabric backing: While the exterior fabrics of a casket liner are typically made of satin, velvet, taffeta and crepe, the fabric backing is often made of nonwoven fabrics. A nonwoven lining can add necessary form and rigidity to a fabric. This is especially important in casket linings because one of the main functions of a beautiful casket is to display the body a loved one. The presentation of the fabric in this case is extremely important.
- Pillow: Pillow inserts can easily be made from nonwoven materials that do not promote the growth of bacteria or mold. While nothing can be done to eliminate the inevitable decay of a body, it may bring the family comfort knowing that casket materials are made to keep the interior as fresh as possible. Additionally, nonwoven materials can be made with additional loft and are lighter weight than other pillow inserts.
- Mattress and side panels: There are no two ways about it, caskets are expensive. One of the ways to reduce overall expense is to include nonwoven fabrics in side panels and in the mattress inserts. Save the more expensive materials for the exterior fabrics where the body will rest.
Caskets are an important part of our final days and it makes sense to manufacture them to include nonwoven fabrics. Nonwovens really are everywhere, it seems.