I began with some research, looking at extant petticoats and modern recreations of these petticoats.
There are two main types of petticoats worn with the Portuguese folkloric costume: the saiote and the saiote travado. The saiote is the main petticoat, usually made of white cotton or linen or red flannel for colder weather. It can be a large rectangle gathered to a waistband or a larger rectangle gathered to a smaller one. The saiote is generally decorated with pintucks, lace insertion, lace trim, or broderie anglaise trim. It can range from 2 metres to 5 metres in width, depending on social class and status. The saiote is usually ankle-length, but some dance groups shorten it to knee-lenght.
The saiote is worn over the saiote travado, a narrow petticoat. The saiote travado is a vestige of the knee-length chemise, or undershirt, worn by women centuries ago. Over time, dance groups shortened the chemise to hip-length and added the saiote travado to the outfit. The saiote travado is characteristically narrow, and significantly shorter than the saiote, usually ending above the knee.
|19th or early 20th century white cotton saiote from the Museum of Popular Art|
|The Traje Vianesa (also known as the Traje Lavradeira) and its appropriate undergarments: a saiote, camisole, bloomers, and crochet socks|
|An antique saiote with broderie anglaise trim|
|A saiote decorated with crochet lace|
|Saiotes decorated with many rows of pintucks and very elaborate crochet in heart, floral, and vandyke motifs|
|A saiote with narrow pintucks and wide lace insertion|
|The saiote and saiote travado|
|The saiote and saiote travado worn with the blue Traje Lavradeira by a dancer of the Rancho Camponeses do Minho from Newark, NJ|
|A linen saiote travado with handmade crochet trim, pulled threadwork embroidery, and pintucks|
|A bride (noiva) or mordoma costume, with a saiote travado decorated with crochet lace trim and insertion|
Would you ever decorate a petticoat with wide, crochet trim or insertion?