Matadors use two different capes in a bullfight. One is called a capote, while the other is called a muleta. Capotes are the larger capes used in stage one of bullfights. Muletas are the smaller red capes used in the final stage of a bullfight.
The first stage of a bullfight is called the "tercio de varas." During this stage, matadors use the capote to gauge the bull's tendencies. In the final stage of the bullfight, called "tercio de muerte," the matador uses a muleta to demonstrate his dominance over the bull. The red color of the muleta helps conceal blood stains from the bull.