The Garments

While the garments were designed for the pigs, it was interesting to see how they translated to the human body in order to communicate the notion of burial garments.

Within most garments lies a combination of fibres or textile constructions. These are unlikely to deteriorate at the same rate, and as a result, there will be garment remainders at a given time, just as a body will decompose in several stages, the last of which is usually the skeleton.

There are three groups of fibres: cellulosic, protein and synthetic. I chose to use one fibre from each group within the pig garment to see how they withstood the burial scenario. I had preconceptions about what would happen to each fibre after an extended burial period, and I used these assumptions to create an order in which I expected the fibres to disintegrate. I sought to create a design that experienced a series of transformational stages before being reduced to its ‘skeletal’ state, just as the body would be. Therefore, the use of fabric from each chemical group was not to be equal in percentage. The aim was for the majority of the garment to be ‘undressed’ by the environment.

Cellulose, being a naturally occurring polymer, from a plant source would be most susceptible to disintegration in the burial scenario and the first to be consumed organically. Protein, another naturally occurring polymer, derived from animal sources, would be the next to disintegrate, as protein would be desirable by some of the biological agents consuming the body. The final fibre to deteriorate would be the synthetic, a fibre produced through a series of chemical and mechanical processes, as I was curious to see if it deteriorated at all.

-Pia Interlandi [A]Dressing Death: Fashioning Garments for the Grave


Photography by Pia Interlandi and Devika Bilimoria