What is a Cloak

A cloak, in the present context, is an overcoat covering a person form neck to below the knees. It is worn by people as a protective garment which keeps them safe from the weather effects. It is similar to a cape and it reaches well below the knees and closes at the neck with clasp. It uses some specific material which allows the person not to feel it tight when he wears it over a number of items of clothing. You may get a hood with a cloak as well for protection of neck and head. Some cloaks may even reach your ankles. All cloaks can be closed fully from their front side.

Historical Background

The term cloak is a derivative from a Latin word which means a traveler’s cape. A traditional cape starting from a narrow neck flares out towards the bottom giving it a shape similar to that of a bell. The Latin word has also a relationship with bell. People have been using the cloak over the centuries since it is the protection from weather. Making a cloak is quite easy because the cuts are quite simple. Modern times have seen the cape as favorite outer clothing, replacing the cloak. However, in really bad weather the cloaks become necessary and people do use them.  

Fabric used and Stitching technicalities of a cloak

Since the cloak is protective clothing which saves the person from immense weather effects, therefore, it is usually made of heavy material like wool so that it fulfill the required purpose for which it is made. The cloak is generally water resistant and insulates the body from cold outside. The neck is specially protected with a facility of closing tightly using a snap or a frog. The snap is well made and can stand the cloak’s full weight and will not open on its own. Generally a soft lining is given to the inner side of the cloak if the material used is bit rough.

Cultural and Social impact throughout history

The cloak can be seen in films where it is worn by detectives and bad characters. They are also associated with different periods of history. Opera cloaks use silk and velvet and are made for making wearer look good on the stage. Many such cloaks are pleated needing plenty of materials to make them. Some opera cloaks are beaded or embroidered. Women wearing full dresses to parties or functions will find these clothes, with numerous folds, convenient to wear over their flowing clothing. The clothing itself will remain intact without getting crushed unlike in the case of a normal cloak with a tight fit. In the olden days people used to think that some cloaks have magical powers because they used to associate them with mystical figures.

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