Like the traditional women's faldas, which are woven with patterns of protection and wisdom, these cloths are considered healing cloths. They are used in the shamanic curing ceremonies where they are placed upon the patient's body to infuse it with the healing power of the featured icaro.
"The intricate pattern embroidered on this cloth is a song-pattern. Song patterns are geometrically fractal designs, tiny stitches, make up the background patterns were explained to be representative of the cosmic oneness. To the Shipibo, this oneness very literally connects all things in the universe. Over the top is the main song line, and these patterns are recognized holistically by the shaman as the main identifying characteristic of the corresponding icaro. When I observed the shamans singing a cloth, they would trace their index finger along this main song line pattern, the melody rising or descending in general accordance with the rise and fall of the line. Along the main song line itself and at various points of intersection along its path, can be seen the beautiful geometric designs called the floras. These flowers represent turning points where the song may take a new direction, such as a new verse or chorus."
Source: Woven Songs Of The Amazon (Icaros and Weavings of The Shipibo Shamans) by Barrett H. Martin.