The Leonandri Direct Trading and Provenance Building Ecosystem


The Leonandri Ecosystem is centred on the local communities in Lefkara and neighbouring villages (Kato Drys, Vavla, Vavatsinia, Ora, Choirokoitia, Skarinou, Dali and Athienou) in the in the Larnaca region of Cyprus, where embroiderers work in their homes to create bespoke lace products , involving embroidery on fine Irish linen. Notable characteristics of bespoke Lefkara Lace creations are the hemstitch, satin stitch fillings, needlepoint edgings, white, brown, ecru colours and geometric intricate patterns.

This ecosystem has a long history, dating back to at least the 14th century. Since then women embroiderers have " organised their production from home. Men from the ecosystem, called "kentitarides", were merchants and they travelled across Europe and Scandinavia. According to tradition, in 15th century Leonardo da Vinci visited Cyprus and took a Lefkara Lace back to Italy with him, which today decorates the Cathederal in Milan. In 2009, this traditional craft of lace-making was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Lefkara lacemaking is currently a dying profession because young people’s unwillingness to take it up as career because of their awareness of the arduous work involved in making each bespoke lacework entity together   with lack of any recognition which could  increase the provenance of the creator and hence enable a much higher selling price, since collectors could now buy a  “art work of Lefkara lace  created by an artist with good provenance”.,

So, working in partnership with Charis Leonidou of Leonandri Art and Design (the ecosystem’s hub), Patrick Humphreys has now successfully implemented the Provenance Creator App and Platform to power and support the Leonandri ecosystem, enabling the live provenance of the products in the ecosystem to be certified an enhanced, together with that of the individual creators. Support i also provided by this platform enabling young people participating in a “Creative Entrepreneurs Club” situated within the ecosystem to develop social innovations, publicised through audio-visual productions distributed worldwide, thus enhancing the provenance of the creative embroiders and of the young people creating these audio-visual productions. This makes “lace-making, provenance building and social innovation” careers attractive to young people, ensuing it Lefkara lacemaking’s future sustainability and economic success.

At the present time, the participants  within the Leonandri ecosystem include:

Bespoke product creators and originators
: women embroiderers in the villages within the ecosystem. Each embroider is an artist experienced in the various techniques, but with her own distinctive style in employing them to make her own bespoke lace products. These women are self-employed.  They are paid for each of the products that they create at a price that reflects the craft quality of the handiwork, but without any associated public acknowledgment of the provenance of its creator, who remains anonymous along the supply chain leading to the end user (ultimate buyer).  

The principal hub in the Leonandri ecosystem. This is Leonandri Art and Design whose general manager Charis Leonidou operates a retail shop in Larnaca and a workshop in Skarinou where the bespoke lace creations are packaged (for example by mounting them in wooden frames) and distributed by the Leonandri hub in Skarinou Cyprus to retail outlets: specialist shops where the end users purchase these products.
 Charis Leonidou also sources (rom linen mills in Ireland where possible) fine linen to give to the bespoke product originators in the Leonandri ecosystem to provide the base material for their Lefkara lace creations. From the hub, Charis Leonidou manages the Leonandri direct trading and provenance building network and is involved in the implementation of of a provenance exploration and demonstration support (PEDS) platform (described in section 2 below) that is aimed to achieve comprehensive  provenance -building for agents participating in the Ecosystem (specially embroiders of creating artistic entities of fine Lefkara Lace). This is considered to be a key development in making entry into a career as a  “Lefkara lace embroidery artist”  much more attractive to young creative people.

Retail outlets
(shops and agencies specializing in sale of bespoke Lefkara lace products created and certified within  the Leonandri network (as described in section 7 below), who would also like to promote their good provenance. For example,  Demos Rouvis, the general manager of the retail shop “Rouvis Silver and Lace” in Pano Lefkara, also commissioned an publicised in the public domain the video Provenance of Lefkara lace

End user members
of the Leonandri Network who purchase  certified Lefkara lace entities from retal outlets participating in the Leonandri Ecosystem who, attracted by the exploration of the “Live Provenance” of an  entity discovered trough  scanning the Leonandri Live Provenance Certification label on the entity) , decide that they would like to becomes an active participant in the Leonandri ecosystem, with the opportunity to promote and share in the development of the ecosystem’s live provenance creating an publicising  activities. End users participating in the Leonandri Ecosystem (especially experienced collectors of Bespoke Lefkara lace artistic creations with fine provenance) may also negotiate, with the Leonandri hub, the specification for a particular bespoke Lefkara lace product that they would like to commission for purchase.

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