A paragraph from 'A tree grows in Brooklyn' by Betty Smith.

Maudie Donavan came around to go to confession with Francie. Maudie was an orphan who lived with two maiden aunts who worked at home. They made ladies' shrouds for a living at so much per dozen for a casket company. They made satin tufted shrouds: white ones for dead virgins, pale lavender for the young married, purple for the middle-aged and black for the old. Maudie brought some pieces. She thought Francie might like to make something out of them. Francie pretended to be glad but shuddered as she put the gleaming scraps away.

My question is what is 'satin tufted shroud'.

  1. shroud decorated with satin? (Not much sense?)

  2. in dictionary 'tuft' is a sort of 'tassel' or 'fringe' But those things for burial clothings?

  3. Or tuft is 'to secure and strengthen (a mattress, quilt, etc) with tufts'. But it wouldn't make much sense in this sentence in my opinion.

  • It is a burial shroud, made with tufts of satin. Jun 25, 2021 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


I understand that to mean a shroud (burial garment) with a decorative fringe made of satin. It is not clear whether it is the shroud or the tufts that are satin.

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