Freestanding lace ornaments look delicate and elegant, but in truth are really durable (and elegant!). The secret to their strength is in how they're made.
Embroidery is typically stitched on fabric. With freestanding lace, a water-soluble stabilizer is used as a base, and the design is stitched onto that base. After embroidering, it is soaked so that the stabilizer disolves, leaving a beautiful piece of lace.
Because there is no base fabric for support, freestanding lace embroidery designs are specially designed to stand on their own (that's the "freestanding" part). Underlay and supporting stitches ensure that every stitch is attached to another; otherwise, the entire piece would come apart when the water-soluble stabilizer is rinsed away.