The owner of this smart coat may have made and embroidered it herself. A floral pattern worked in mauve and lilac embroidery silks decorates the collar and cuffs of the coat. The loose fitting cut-away shape was fashionable at the beginning of WWI, made to wear with a long, straight skirt. 80% of synthetic dyestuffs were German made. During the war supplies to the British textile industry stopped. This meant that bright colours were hard to come by. New textiles were made in neutral or dark shades. Undyed cloths or black, grey, navy, saxe blue, brown, bottle green, cream, putty, and fawn were common. Black and mauve were also worn for mourning dress. Fabrics were also in limited supply and the high prices of yarns led to manufacturers experimenting with mixed fibres, adding cotton to wool goods to produce ‘lower lines’. Silk, wool serge and gaberdine were practical and made up into smart and attractive suits or ‘costumes’ and coat-frocks. Silk taffeta was particularly liked until supplies ran out. The new synthetic fibres became increasingly important as the war continued. Artificial silk braids and threads were relatively new products developed by the British firm Courtaulds, manufacturers of viscose cellulose fibre (later known as rayon) from 1905 onwards.