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Essentially, lace and embroidery, an alien handicraft, this handicraft industry was introduced sometime early in the Christian Era by a colony of Syrians who settled in Kerala. The present form of embroidery is of a recent origin and it is believed that the London Mission Society gave a start to it during first quarter of the 19th century. The main concentration for embroidery and lace work are Eravipuram, Changanassery, Kottayam, Pala, Parrasala, Trissur and Cannoor, with more emphasis on Changanassery and Kottayam.
In the matter of pillow lace, the entire lace work is done by passing fine thread attached to wooden pages around pins fixed on a cardboard while in embroidery work, the designs are first drawn on the cloth by hand or copied through a stencil. The embroidery work is done only after selecting the different colours to form an attractive pattern.
Lace and embroidery pieces are made using both cutwork lace and freestanding lace techniques. Both the hand and the machine are involved in bringing out exquisite patterns.Machine embroidery techniques are used to bring out some elegant lace embroidery designs that can be used on freestanding lace bowls and doilies, stitch out decorations for your Christmas tree and Christmas greeting cards or other embroidery projects - tablecloth and table runners, pillow cases, curtains and other furnishings.
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