In old days, the most prestigious lavalava were made with fine mats,woven of pandanus leaves, or from siapo (tapa cloth) pounded from paper mulberry or wild hibiscus bark. Now these articles are held in high regard for ceremonial events.
The most common lavalava is a rectangular cloth wrapped around the waist.
Women these days tend to wrap them up higher like a skirt for modesty.
Cotton cloth has replaced woven or bark cloth lavalavas as articles of daily use
The cotton lavalavas tend to be in bright colors or Hawaiian prints.and are known as ie faitaga.
Business men, politicians and high chiefs tend to wear tailored linen lavalavas which extend mid-calf, often with pockets and buckles, created in solid colors.
Similar ankle-length skirts form the lower half of the two-piece formal dress worn by Samoan women (called puletasi)
Loudly colored lava-ava made from materials such as satin, velvet, polyester, and sequins have recently been popularized among performance dance groups and village, church, or school-based choirs.