natural funeral shrouds
printed with botanicals in aotearoa new zealand
Haere mai, welcome
The pressing need to protect our environment is leading a global movement towards eco friendly ways to care for, and part with, our dead. Ake Ake Shrouds is proud to be instrumental in greening death care by offering plant-dyed funeral shrouds made right here in Aotearoa. Each unique piece is a functional artwork, individually hand crafted from natural textiles with a beautiful aesthetic, gentle colours and distinct plant prints. A collection of Ake Ake shrouds are available for purchase directly through this website. For those with time to plan in advance, I offer a personalised shroud making service using plants that are significant to you. And if you wish, I welcome you, your whānau and friends to join me in the process of making your shroud.
"I have created these simple wrap style shrouds for those concerned about the impact of funerals on mother earth, and for families and friends who wish to be personally involved in the sacred act of shrouding their deceased loved one."
Ngā mihi nui, Karen Williamson
Shroud maker and natural dyer
dress for eternity
wrapped simply and gently in soft natural fabrics,
just you and the quiet earth
What is a natural Funeral Shroud?
A shroud is simply a large piece of cloth used to completely envelope the person who died, to cover, protect and provide dignity as they move from place of death to their final place of repose, be that burial or cremation. Think of it as a soft coffin, folded gently around the body and tucked in place, held by ties. Since coffins and caskets have become commonplace, communities have become disconnected with the ritual of shrouding in death care. However, it is a cultural and religious practice that has existed for centuries around the globe. A shroud need not be placed inside a coffin, but can be carried on a board.
Shrouds are made from natural sustainably sourced and renewable fabrics; cotton, linen, wool, silk, bamboo or hemp. These fibres break down in a few months within the earth, integrating with nature's ecosystem. Ake Ake Shrouds is dedicated to using 100% compostable materials and plant dyes, sourced sustainably and locally where possible. The creative process is zero waste, leaving the lightest of footprints.
Ake Ake Shrouds meet cemetery requirements for burial in a natural burial ground across the motu. My pure silk shrouds will also be suitable for water cremations.
It's a beautiful gift, leaving your family the knowledge of what you would like for your funeral. Being prepared is everything but it takes courage, and hard mahi, to make those preparations.
I am here to answer questions, share information and nurture you through the decision making process when it comes to choosing a shroud. After all, it's a once in a life time experience. The hows and whys, the logistics, the finances, those are some things that you may need clear in your mind before making that commitment. If I can help you gain clarity, or support you in any way then please, get in touch or visit the Resource Vault.
DIY Shroud making
Would you like to make your own eco dyed funeral shroud? It's my privilege to offer in-person workshops where together we'll create something exceptional and personal. Friends and whānau are welcome to join in the journey, making memories as you bring your shroud into being. Choose foliage and flowers that have meaning to you, perhaps your favourites, picked from your own garden, or from a place that holds special connection. This is art with soul and purpose Pricing begins with a baseline for materials and the rest by koha. Begin that conversation, with no obligation by getting in contact for a kōrero.
Ake Ake (ah-keh ah-keh)
'for ever and ever'
ake ake is a small tree, native to Aotearoa, that yeilds beautiful leaf detail in botanical printing.