Miao women's garments are made from hand-loom cloth that may be hemp or cotton. A woman's costume generally consists of a long-sleeved jacket worn over a full, pleated skirt and an apron worn at the front and back of her dress. The outfit is completed with leggings. Skirts and jackets are decorated with strips of embroidery and woven, or batik cloth with wax-resist. While the baisc outfit remains the same, the styles and designs differ for the various sub-groups. Men's garments used to have similar decorative elements as women's but they are hardly in use today. Miao geometric designs included motifs that served as protection against evil spirits. The process of making clothes - spinning, weaving, embroidery and dyeing, have been handed down for generations, from mothers to daughters, who would learn from an early age.The Miao people form one of the largest ethnic minorities in southwest China. They are mainly distributed across Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan and Sichuan provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. A small number lives on Hainan Island in Guangdong province, and in southwest Hubei province.