In ancient times, the Lepcha's of Sikkim were said to use yarn spun out of stinging nettle (sisnu) plant to weave clothes.Today cotton and woollen yarn are used together with vegetable dyes and synthetic colours.

Lepcha weaves or 'thara' is woven in vertical looms with a backstrap. Such looms are of small width. Traditional design with different colours are used to make tharas which are used for making bedspreads, bags, belts, curtains, cushion covers, table mats, tray cloths etc, apart from their traditional dress.