In Tahitian, the word tifaifai (pronounced ti-fay-fay) literally means to mend, patch or sew. This form of tapestry consists of handmade applique designs that often reflect the Polynesian love of nature. Usually quilts, they are typically used as bedspreads or wall decor; but they can also be made into pillowcases or tablecloths.’
Tifaifai is a cultural heritage passed down from generation to generation—mother to daughter, grandmother to granddaughter. It is not taught in school, but rather safeguarded by family and the community. For this reason, Salon du Tifaifai is a great way for these women to share their techniques and keep the art alive.
These beautiful works of art are traditionally offered during special occasions as a symbol of love, honor and respect. During a traditional wedding ceremony, the couple is wrapped in a tifaifai quilt as they are pronounced husband and wife, symbolizing their union.
In general, the process is very involved and can take six months to a year to complete one quilt, but this means you’re getting something that is truly one of a kind, made with a great deal of patience and devotion.
Tifaifai be considered as a wonderful symbol of affection and love, respect and consideration, they are given to a wedding, as a good-bye gift, etc.