An ancient term for embroidery, esp. applied to the earliest form of lace, or to that early embroidery on linen and the like, from which the manufacture of lace was developed.
Originally an applique of cut-out shapes, the name was transferred to embroidery in which parts of the ground are cut away. Currently the generic name for all forms of needle lace based on a woven ground.
Parts of the design are cut away before or after the motif has been embroidered. Tiny running stitches are placed close to the edge to give a raised effect to the finished work.