A very special tradition in Palestrina has to do with embroidery stitches. Sewing has always been one of the most important and useful handicrafts, and embroidered clothing and linens have been a popular cultural tradition in Italy for centuries.
Around the end of the 1800’s in many schools opened to satisfy the market’s request for embellished and prestigious clothing, wall hangings, home furnishings and linens. As women began to study and work they were no longer obliged to stay at home and prepare their own dowry of linens; they therefore looked to the local schools to have such handmade pieces prepared for them.
One very interesting technique used in embroidery is the Palestrina stitch (called the punto Palestrina in Italian), which is similar to an upraised knot. The stitch is often used on borders and for decorating long lines in the fabric and it adds a special touch to any embroidered work. It was created over one hundred years ago by Marquis Ferdiando Ulivieri who was working at the time in Palestrina.
Today the best examples of embroidered pieces and handiwork are done by Stella Chiapparelli, who not only exhibits and sells her work locally (Palestrina’s “Sagra del Giglietto”, Zagarolo’s fair “Tramando Tessendo” www.associazionesinergie.com), but also at many important international sewing fairs. Stella Chiapparelli has a cultural association through which she promotes local cultural heritage through sewing and embroidery.