The women of East Timor are particularly famous for weaving a traditional cloth which is known as “Tais”. Tais has been used in this region since centuries. Historical significance of Tais is evident for the use of Tais cloth in the preparation of the religious attires. These dresses were used by the church in the religious ceremonies along with other items like feathers and ornaments.
The heritage of weaving the traditional Tais of East Timmor is solely associated with the women of East Timor. The method to weave Tais in its typical way has been passed down to the women from generations to generations. The weaving of the Tais has become a prominent feature in the lives Timorese women.
Tais is a genuine handicraft item which is mostly prepared with the cotton thread in the dry season. Other fibers like rayon and polyester are also bring used nowadays for weaving the Tais as these are comparatively cheaper raw material. Some complicated designs of Tais cloth can take several days, even months for its preparation. Tais is made colorful with the help of Dyes which are mixed from plants like taun, kinur, and teka.
There are many trends of the traditional Tais of East Timor which are adopted in the daily wear of the people of East Timor. The traditional dress for men is mostly known as the tais mane, a single large wrap around the waist usually finished with tassels. While the women normally use the tais feto, a form of strapless dress woven in the shape of a tube. A third type known as the selendang, a slender cloth worn around the neck, has become popular in recent years.