In the 1870s shawls lost popularity due to its immense size and the reducing expanse of skirts to help support them. Although some were retained as heirlooms, others were stitched into the more wieldy shape of the cloak or the mantle. This cloak is made from a fine quality embroidered Indian shawl. Embroidered shawls were produced in India to imitate woven shawls because they were easier and faster to make than the woven variety. Embroidered examples have an interesting textural quality about them which lends itself to the highly decorated outerwear of the 1880s.