Lace work is mainly found in the southern parts of the country. This craft was first introduced by the Portuguese in the middle of the sixteenth century and then developed by the Dutch in the middle of the seventeenth century. This craft is practised mainly by women, especially in the areas of Galle, Weligama, Dikwella, Matara, and Hambantota. This thriving craft provides a steady source of employment for young and old. The craft is appreciated and patronised by the locals and by foreign tourists.
Along with the introduction of this craft in the southern parts of the country, Western styles of dress and fashion have also become popular. These include the popular kabakurutthu - the Portuguese name for a ladies jacket having lace-work as decoration - which has narrow cuffed sleeves and neckline trimmed with delicate lace, fastened in the front with brooches and buttons. Lace-work is most commonly used to embellish the borders, necklines, and sleeves of ladies' garments.
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