The famous handmade lace of the Lefkara village has been added to the UNESCO Intangible World Heritage List which is defined as ‘practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills’. The programme aims to recognize and protect significant cultural heritage around the world, whilst it’s sister programme - World Heritage Sites - lists places, monuments, buildings and cities.
The tradition of lace-making in Lefkara dates back to at least the fourteenth century and is a skill that is passed down from woman to woman in the village. The lace is made by hand in designs combining four basic elements: the hemstitch, cut work, satin stitch fillings and needlepoint edgings to form embroidered linens such as tablecloths, napkins and show pieces. These linens – which are known as ‘Lefkaritika’ - are made in just 10 designs on Irish linen with French thread. They are reversible and are made in only three colours – white, brown and beige. Only lace made in Lefkara in the traditional way is considered to be authentic.
Lefkara is proud of the tradition that continues to this day, and its inclusion in the Intangible World Heritage List is further validation of its cultural significance to the island.