Akrivoula G. Politi
President of the Municipalitie's Cultural Center "Tafion"
Lefkada's Karsaniko embroidery started from the village of Karya in mountainous Lefkada at the end of the 19th century and is found only in it. With exceptional skills and imagination, embroiderers manage delicate and precious materials, silk threads, airy linen fabrics, measured with mathematical precision.
At the beginning of this unique technique, women embroidered on linen cloth or even on woven fabric that they had woven themselves on their loom, and the threads were of different colours. Over the years, however, this embroidery is mainly made of etamine fabric and the yarns used are silk, in white, off-white, gold, etc.
The technique is unlike any other in Greece. It is embroidered from the backside. There are three kinds of stitch designs, the crochet, the plate and the cruciform needle, all of which blend harmoniously, creating these beautiful embroideries. For each design, there is a name, herringbone, cork, cross etc.
Today in Meganisi, there are women who know this art very well. They accept orders in size, colour, shape and design. Their work is full of passion and talent and makes their embroidery unique.
The Karsaniko embroidery technique is included in the list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Greece.