Someone has contacted the New England Lace Group to ask for help identifying the technique used to make a shawl, the fiber used and how best to repair it. The first problem is actually figuring out how it is made; at this point we're not even sure it is really "lace".

I am awaiting information regarding the ethnic background of the owner and how long it has been in the family. She says "for generations", but I have asked her to be more specific.

Any thoughts on what it might be?

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At a guess this is crochet, mostly air mesh (chain stitch?), with thread wound around a finger every now and then and fastened with two or three single crochets.

I was wondering if it was crochet, but have no idea how they kept the rings so even and circular; you would expect that they would collapse with the tension if it were crochet.

Gabriele Patzner said:

At a guess this is crochet, mostly air mesh (chain stitch?), with thread wound around a finger every now and then and fastened with two or three single crochets.

This reminds me of the work that is done using the same technique as making fishing net; A shuttle holding the thread with rods as the gauge control.
In this case, two rods; one large and one small to form the large rings and small rings respectively.
The rods maintain the stability as each row is worked.

Very bizarre! I haven't a clue what it is. But it isn't bobbin lace.  It isn't needle lace, either. Those bundles of threads are really strange.

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