A coat basically turns the wearer into an artifact; she is subject to Signs and makes a bit more noise in the Fifth Power, but the benefits justify these small comfort problems.
"It's a lot of work closing the coats on the children every morning, but I can't let them outside without Firecoats and not die of worry. I hear the Xom burn them in after birth."
— Vahir Daquinor, Sawan whisperer
A coat must be a continuous line around the wearer, and because of their violent making and unique inks, are unmistakable and can rarely be hidden.
"Using a Shadowcoat makes this crime especially treacherous, and therefore the purpetraitor shall be put to death by fall, to be executed in one week's time, unless proven guiltless."
— Pe-kalhaniar judgement
"Mantel" translates to both cloak and coat. I decided to call it coat to not invoke the idea this might be a cape or any other sort of clothing, but coat, as in an animal's pelt. Sometimes I worry that I might lose perspective on the intended nature of Genius Loci and make it too grim, too dark and frightening. But, people do weird things to fit in, to get a bonus, to appeal to someone, and while some customs in my world are strange, I think none of them border on human sacrifice, crusades, or unvalued life as seen in other settings.