Whether you are a mortuary student studying casket parts or just someone curious, this article will help you learn every part of a casket and understand their specific function.
What Are the Different Parts of a Casket?
Arm – The arm is a part of the casket handle that attaches the handlebar to the lug or ear of the casket. It is secured to the outside of the casket with either a single or double lug.
Base Molding – This the molding along the lowermost edge of the body panels of the casket.
Bottom – It is simply the bottom portion of the casket. It generally consists of some type of interior padding so that the deceased appears comfortable in the casket.
Bridge – The bridge refers to the sides of the transverse cut in the cap (lid). These are the exposed sides of a two-piece lid in a half-couch casket.
Corner – The corner is an optional part of the hardware attached to the four corners of the body panels. Many casket companies offer the option to replace the standard casket corners with unique pieces to honor the deceased. These personalized corners can be removed before the burial if the family wishes to keep them as a memento.
Crown – The crown is the top portion of the cap or the lid. It is basically everything that covers the casket above the rim.
Extend over – This is a component of the casket interior that wraps over the head or the top body molding. The extend over is purely for aesthetic value.
Fish Tail – The fishtail is also called the pie. It is the wedge-shaped portion at the end of each crown that slants down.
Fold – The fold is also called the gimp. It is a strip of metal, plastic, or cloth attached to the inside of the panel. It covers the area where the roll is attached.
Handle – This handle is the part of the casket where pallbearers hold on to. It can also be called a bar or handlebar. The three types of handles are swing bar, stationary bar, and bail handle.
A swing bar is a moveable casket handle with a hinged arm, while a stationary bar is non-moveable. Both handles can be in full, individual, or single sizes.
Lastly, a bail handle is a single handle that combines the lug, arm, and bar into one unit. Bail handles are screwed to the outside sidewall of the casket.
Hinge Cover – A hinge cover, also called a skirt, is a component of the casket interior that covers the hinges. The hinge cover is usually the same color as the roll as it extends towards the body lining.
Hinge Piece – The hinge is a part that connects the cap (lid) to the body of the casket.
Inside Lid Flange – This is the inner rim that surrounds the roll.
Interior Panel – The interior panel is also called the head panel which is the inside portion of the cap (lid). The interior panel can be personalized. Many families choose decorative embroidered panels that are visible in open casket viewings.
Lug or Ear – The lug is a part of the casket handle attached to the casket body. Typically, there are 8 lugs per casket with 3 on each long side of the casket and 1 on each short side.
Overlay – The overlay is also called the throw or overthrow. It is the aesthetic covering that resembles a throw draped over the foot cap or inner foot panel of the casket.
Overlay Skirt – The overlay skirt is also called the apron. It is a lining attached to the undersurface of the foot panel or is sometimes part of the overlay (or throw). It extends downward into the casket covering the bottom portion of the casket.
Pie (Fishtail) – The wedge-shaped portion of the cap (lid) at each end of the crown
Pillow Box – A pillow box is where the pillow top is placed.
Pillow Top – A pillow is simply a cloth bag filled with soft materials in order to support the head of the deceased.
Rolls –The roll is also called the cove or puffing. It is the curved interior part of the casket that lines the rim (ogee) and surrounds the cap panel.
Tip – The tip is a decorative part of the casket handle. It covers the exposed ends of the handlebar.
Top Body Molding – Also called the body ledge, the top body molding is the part along the uppermost edge of the body panels.
Top Frame or Ogee – The top frame is also called the rim or ogee. It is a part of the cap that is shaped like a double curve or like an elongated letter “S”. The molding of the casket into these curves was done in order to use less material. Instead of keeping the lid resemble a big box, they designed it into the ogee. The molding of the rim comes in different ratios.
Resources to Review Caskets Parts
There are many learning tools and flashcards online that you can use to study the parts of the casket. They cover the different casket parts extensively and are often sourced from textbooks used by mortuary schools. Here are some online learning materials to review:
Kari Northey, a funeral director and embalmer, shows the casket parts in a 2-minute video:
Casket Parts (created by Gayla G.)
There are three types of handles for a casket: the swing bar, stationary bar, and bail handle.
A swing bar is a moveable casket handle with a hinged arm, while a stationary bar is non-moveable. Both handles can be full, individual, or single size. Lastly, a bail handle is a single handle that combines the lug, arm, and bar into one unit. Bail handles are screwed to the outside sidewall of the casket.
The part of the cap with double curve shape is called the ogee. The shape also resembles an elongated letter “S”. Casket manufacturers mold the lid into these shapes to use less material and to avoid the cap looking like a big box.
Yes. Many casket companies can customize the standard casket corners with your choice of hardware pieces. Common options are angels, crosses, flowers, flags, and some religious pieces. Families can also remove these personalized corners after the funeral service to use as a keepsake or remembrance of their loved one.
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