Since time immemorial the Meiteis have used different types of clothes having unique ceremonial values. Leirum phi is also such an important traditional coarse shawl of wrappers types of the Meiteis, but with a peculiar woven design. It has been an indispensable item of gift given by parents to their daughter on the occasion of her marriage ceremony. This practice has been followed by all sections of the Meitei community, irrespective of their social status in the society. It is simply made of coarse cotton thread and the woven design on it is not of the easy standard.
The story of the evolution of the Leirum phi can be traced back to the reign of Khui Tompok(154- 264),the Meitei king. As recorded in the Cheitharol Kumbaba,on the occasion of the marriage of Nongmoinu Ahongbi, an Angom princess to Khui Tompok, the parents of Nongmoinu Ahongbi presented her a Leirum cloth as her wedding gift. Since that time onwards, it has become a tradition to gift leirum cloth in the marriage.
Later in history, the design on this cloth as was made by the Meiteis became quite different from the original design of Leirum that survived among the Tangkhul Naga tribe (Ancient manuscripts like the Angom Khoira and the Angom khonghou mention that the Angom clan of the Meitei community migrated from caves in the Hundung and Kangkhui ranges in present day Ukhrul district. The belief is that the Angoms might have certain relations with the Tangkhuls in ancient times).