Cook Islands Dresses
Cook Islands Dresses Making a Fashion Statement Since 1987
Tav Pacific is more than a name for our family-owned shop. We’ve been selling magnificent Cook Island dresses for more than 32 years–a symbol of a cultural celebration and expression of our nationality and traditions to the world. This store is our way of sharing our cultural heritage through traditional dresses and other garments, a craft unique to the Pacific Islands. Each garment is a unique expression of the wonders of our heritage, filled with significant traditional motifs, and the characteristic beauty of our islands. Not only are these garments pretty and unique, but they also offer a super comfortable wear and is the perfect garment to give your closet a magical island appeal.
What You Can Expect from Tav Pacific Regarding Cook Islands Dress Designs
In 1987, Ellena Tavioni turned her dream into reality. She dreamt of making and selling the most magnificent hand-painted dresses true to her culture. Today we are still making these dresses and other traditional garments using the same handmade techniques.
- Our garment making process is very hands-on. Our skilled team takes the required care to wash, iron, print and heat every piece of fabric by hand.
- We use a traditional printing method, called block printing, which has its origin in tapa printing and is a traditional Pacific printing method.
- Each of the patterns we use reflects our traditions. These patterns are inherent to the Pacific Islands and reflect certain important symbols such as the triangle shark tooth pattern.
- The method we use is unique, and the handmade process can never be replaced by machines, making every piece of our handmade women's clothes a unique and precious work of art.
- Although we make and sell our print dresses and other garments on the Cook Islands, you can also purchase these in a store in Hawaii or New Zealand. Alternatively, you can visit our online store to buy our handmade dresses online.
- We’ve made the online ordering process simple and user-friendly. It is as simple as browsing through our online shelves at your convenience, selecting the size suited for your body type and placing your order.
- Our online store has a wide range of traditional wear for men, women and children. We stock several women's print dresses, hand-painted skirts and women's print pants, to name only a few of our items for women. We also have kimono’s, playsuits and jumpsuits in stock.
- Our range for men includes shirts, shorts and singlets and our children’s range consists of the prettiest dresses for girls and shirts for boys.
- A more recent addition to our inventory includes face masks adorned with our traditional fabric prints. We make these from a breathable cotton Lycra, and it is available in several sizes to find the perfect fit.
- Our ladies include plus sizes to cater for a wide range of shapes and sizes.
- Entering the global market opened doors which we didn’t expect, and now we have a demand for winter wear. Keep an eye out for these designs. We are currently working on a winter range and will launch it soon.
- We make it very easy to purchase your unique pattern dresses from our online store. We offer several payment options through partnerships with some of the most reliable names in the financial industry to give you a secure and safe shopping experience. You can also opt for the finance solutions of Afterpay or Laybuy to make your purchase a more budget-friendly solution.
- Our online ordering system gives you the freedom to save on shipping fees by collecting your order at our premises. Simply bring your order along for a quick and easy collection. Otherwise, we’ll gladly have it at your door within five to seven business days regardless of whether you live in an urban or rural area.
- We also offer global shipping, meaning you can enjoy the comfort of our local wear such as our handmade dresses or any other handprinted garment anywhere in the world.
- As an added benefit to our service delivery, we offer free local shipping on all orders exceeding $250 and free global shipping on orders exceeding $400.
- Since so much effort and care go into making traditional dresses or handmade skirts, it may be easy to assume that aftercare of these unique garments can be as intensive. It isn’t the case at all. We do suggest that you hand wash the print dresses and other handmade clothes. Alternatively, you can rely on machine washing if you select a delicate or handwash cycle. Always hang these items inside out to preserve the prints and keep the colours in a superb condition for longer.
- Don’t hang strappy dresses from the straps, rather hang them folded in the middle over your line to prevent unnecessary tension on the garment.
Little Known Facts About Polynesian Dresses
For centuries, a dress has been a symbol of status in the Pacific Islands, but it represents so much more:
- Depending on your dress choice, you could show dominance or submission or even respect. The tradition states that when she wears a dress, a woman could capture a spiritual force and have power over life and death.
- Before the local cultures had any contact with the Western world, the local men mostly wore loincloths, and the women wrapped a garment around them, which they called a pa’u. They also wore Kapa fabric with hand-painted patterns.
- Our islands form part of the Polynesian island group, and the 15 islands which make up the Cook Islands are named after James Cook, the commander of the first British ship to reach our shores. After contact with Western civilisation in the 17th century, the shape and design of traditional wear took on minor changes as the locals back then developed a love and appreciation for the Western textiles. These changes are still present in the traditional handmade women's clothes as we make it today. Our culture has a rich history remaining alive until today–a culture that everyone living in the Pacific Islands is proud of and love to share globally.
- As we rely mostly on natural fibres such as 100 percent cotton for our traditional wear, it ensures a comfortable garment that’s light to wear and perfect for the island climate. Still, you can enjoy it as much in any kind of warm weather around the world.
- As in days gone by, we still rely on a hand-printed method to press various symbols onto our fabric to decorate it. Each of these symbols represents far more than a mere aesthetic value. Each design we use has a significant meaning in our culture, making every printed garment even more unique.
- Examples of meaningful symbols are fish and the very popular fish hook, representing famous folklore about how these islands came into existence. Many maritime symbols carry profound meaning in our tradition.
- Other important symbols are any kind of triangular designs and patterns–these indicate strength. Triangular designs are often represented in the form of shark teeth. Other symbols represent unity and include the importance of the weather, such as dark clouds or stars.
The symbolism on these garments might come from a time long ago but is still carries great importance to our current generations and buying any kind of garment means owning a piece of our rich tradition.
Why Trust Tav Pacific When Buying A Hand-Painted Dress
Tav Pacific isn’t another chain store trying to replicate the beauty of an age-old tradition through modern methods and mass production. We are a family proud of our heritage, and we are honoured to be in a position where we can share our tradition with the world on our online platform.
Although the techniques used can be cumbersome and highly time-consuming, we want to give the unique and handmade appeal of every garment on our shelves. It gives you the certainty that you are not buying a counterfeit of something that has such a strong meaning in our cultural heritage. When you purchase a Tav garment, you get the real deal, something our locals still love wearing and are proud to have in their closets.
We offer a delicate balance between the unique traditions of our world and the modern advances of fast internet solutions and online shopping. Modern systems provide a speedy delivery system we rely on to get your purchase to your door anywhere on the face of the earth. It remains the privilege of our family to keep the ideals and dreams of Ellena Tavioni alive, always going forward and expanding on what is possible.
We love to share our heritage, traditions and culture with the world through not only our women's handmade clothing but indeed dressing the entire family. Thanks to modern technology and the ease and comfort of online shopping, it is now possible to wear a bit of Polynesian heritage anywhere across the globe.
Although we don’t sell our fabric on its’s own, we would like to invite you to visit our store to get your bit of our traditional wear in the form of complete garments. If you have any questions, concerns or enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us in whatever way is most convenient to you.
We offer several ways for you to reach out, and our family is always ready to assist.