The full skirts and sleeves of women's gowns of the early 18th century made it impractical to wear fitted overcoats. Cloaks, like this reproduction example, could be put on easily over gowns and helped provide warmth and protection from inclement weather. Arm slits freed the hands for work so that the front could remain closed against the cold. This red broadcloth cloak was made using a full width of wool fabric with semi-triangular shaped pieces added to create its semi-circular shape. The hood, generous in size to accommodate high hairstyles and a cap, is shaped with pleats that radiate from the center back like a fan. Hooded cloaks, also referred to as riding hoods, were not always scarlet. A fashionable color for woolen cloaks in the late 18th century, scarlet-colored cloaks may not have been as prevalent in the early 18th century.
Date: Modern Reproduction