From the 11th century onwards, higher Catholic clergy were entitled to wear the sacred garment known as a cope for processional occasions on feast days. The cope developed from a Roman cloak-like garment and was semi-circular, opening down the front. Orphrey bands ran the full length of the front opening. On the back, the cope retained a vestigial hood which was triangular or shield-shaped.
Some of the saints depicted on the orphrey bands probably connect this cope to a Cologne church, or at least a church nearby. St Ursula and St Severinus were Cologne saints and St Hubert belonged to a military order established by the Archbishops-Elector of Cologne. Their embroidered names identify them.