For discussions of lace history and lace identification.  You can post a photo into a comment box for a lace you want to discuss.  Bobblin lace history.  About historic lace. Kinds of lace.  Distinguish types of lace.

We can identify a piece of lace for you, but we need good detail.  At least one photo with this kind of detail is necessary.  Otherwise we are just guessing.  A shot of the whole thing is useful because that shows us the style.  Style gives us clues to date and possibly geographical origin.  But we need the detail shot to tell us how it was made.

Members: 116
Latest Activity: on Thursday

Examples + Resources


Descriptions of several styles of lace -

To compare needle lace, tatting and crochet, Kathleen Minniti's sampler.

My antique lace boards on Pinterest 

My collection of boards on Pinterest 

Jo Edkins lace collection online:


 Bobbin lace    antiquebobbinlace     bobbinlace3     Needle lace    needlelace2 

Tatting     tatting2   tatting3      

Embroidery on tulle-needlerun      Embroidery on tulle-tambour        Carrickmacross  

Filet lace    filetlace2    filetlace3   filet lace4    Buratto 

Sol lace   sollace2   sol lace3

Knitted lace    knittedlace2     Crochet lace        Irish crochet lace      IrishCrochet2      

Chemical lace   ChemicalLace2  chemical lace3     chemical lace4     

See this for a technical explanation of the chemical lace process.

Barmen machine lace        Raschel machine lace     Leavers machine

machine1 (not sure what machine)   

I don't know how this machine relates to the Barmen or Rascheel (or other machine)

Bobbin tape lace  bobbin tape lace 2   

Mixed tape lace-machinetape      Romanian needlepoint lace  

For recognizing Swedish bobbin lace:




The Koon collection CD is a collection of images from the Eunice Sein Koon
Collection of Lace donated to IOLI by Ms. Koon. Ms. Koon was the editor of
Lace Craft Quarterly and a collector of lace.  It is not related to the
Minnesota collection to the best of my knowledge.  The CD is a series of
Powerpoint slides organized as the collection pieces are numbered.  There
are approximately 100 pieces of various types of lace in the Koon
collection.  Pictures from the CD could be copied and pasted into another
Powerpoint presentation, or the images could be used to request pieces of
lace from the collection for study by IOLI members.  Policy for use of this
lace is described on p. 58 of the IOLI Member Handbook. -- Jo Ann Eurell


The IOLI - Internation Organization of Lace, Inc. has a study box of lace fragments that members can borrow.  

(I am searching for a link)

IOLI also has a lending library for members' use

A site with good photos of high quality antique laces: ;

Discussion Forum

Large banquet cloth 1 Reply

Hopefully somebody has some ideas about this very large banquet cloth - or bedspread?  I have not seen it. These grainy photos are all I have. It looks to me like early 20th century bobbin lace. Do…Continue

Started by Karen Thompson. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Apr 20.

Lace Identification Help 6 11 Replies


Started by Bobbie Eccles. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19.

Lace Identification Help 3 Hankie 7 Replies

Here is a hankie that measures…Continue

Started by Bobbie Eccles. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti Jan 19.

Lace Identification Help 5 Hanky 7 Replies

Another hanky ....I am thinking possibly Maltese?  …Continue

Started by Bobbie Eccles. Last reply by Bobbie Eccles Jan 19.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Identification-History to add comments!

Comment by Carolina de la Guardia on January 31, 2018 at 2:18pm

I think this is not bobbin lace, but net lace. It seems to me that the threads are knotted.

Comment by Karen Spencer on January 31, 2018 at 1:30pm


     Need identification for the attached photo of a lace border made for a tablecloth in the 1700's. Some of the lace along the border has come apart, so I would like to remake those areas.  I am guessing "bobbin lace" (?) .  Any help in identifying this lace will be appreciated.

Thank you,

Karen Spencertablecloth border...1700's_resized.jpg

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on January 11, 2018 at 6:41pm

Tebbs, L.A. The Art of Bobbin Lace, Chapman and Hall, 1907, 105 pages. Note: Scanned images provided by Tess Parrish. Posted May 9, 2006. SAMPLE PAGE. CONTENTS. File size 6.7 MB PDF 

Go to the T's for Tebbs. You can download part or all of it.

Comment by Cindy Tiger on January 11, 2018 at 6:33pm

Thanks guys! I agree that the cloth work all looks like Brussels lace. But the ground looks like Val round ground which I thought would put it earlier, and the large curling half stitch motifs look more like Art Nouveau which would date it a little later. So I think I am pretty happy with a c.1900 date. Can you tell me the title of the Tebbs book so I can keep my eye out for it? It’s really a lovely edging, linen, about 5 inches deep and about 5 feet long.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on January 11, 2018 at 6:19pm

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on January 11, 2018 at 6:16pm

I am not certain in what I said about the ground, but it does look like this -- 

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on January 11, 2018 at 5:39pm

Rather than be done by sewings between braids parallel to the footside, couldn't the ground have been done in diagonals from the footside like point-ground or Val ground, with an extra cross at the intersections? Two two-pair braids come diagonally together at each intersection. The two inner pairs do a cross between the two inner-most threads, then a half stitch (C-T) between the two inner pairs, the two outer pairs each twist once, and each new set of two pairs do a short braid. Repeat with the next braid over, etc. Perhaps my eyes aren't good enough, but the intersections look to me more like two crosses rather than a sewing. The whole ground is badly tensioned. The diagonal direction of the braids carried across the back would be consistent with this manner of working.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on January 11, 2018 at 4:59pm

It is definitely hand made bobbin lace. Probably dating from around 1900.  Probably western European, Flanders area, Belgium. There is nothing in the style to suggest English. However, if you can find a copy of the Tebbs book, some of her designs may have some similarities.

The green zigzags show a half stitch area, with the side-to-side movement of the weaver. The purple lines show a cloth stitch area, with the direction of the weaver. These 2 together show that the motifs are taking an odd direction -- from the footside as top to the headside as bottom. This could not happen in a straight/continuous lace. So this is definitely a part lace.

The blue lines show a braid of 2 pairs connecting some motifs. This braid/plait was probably sewn in after the motifs were made, and it just zigzags to go where it needs to for a good connection.

The red lines surround some ground areas, and this is quite peculiar. The ground was hung in after the motifs were finished, and it runs parallel to the footside. The dark red lines show where the ground bars run over the back of a motifs, to save cutting off and hanging in again. The most bizarre thing is that it looks like the junction of one leg of the ground (actually a short braid) is sewn onto its neighbor on the right. I would expect this ground to have a Valenciennes crossing, with multiple braid pairs hung in, and worked as a straight lace. The blue line shows the direction of work. The red circle shows the connection of a braid to its right hand neighbor. Very strange. But it would reduce the number of bobbins you would have in play while working the ground.

Go back to the first image, look for the orange rings. I have seen several pieces from around 1900 which use this division of a tape to imitate a flower. Very old Milanes and Flemish tape laces use a similar decoration, but the really old ones were worked in a much more complex manner. This piece shows the simplified version, typical of many laces made around 1900. Examples:

These 2 are also very old -

Comment by Lagartija on January 11, 2018 at 2:24pm

There is a lot to like in this design!  :-D

Very nice...

Comment by maria greil on January 11, 2018 at 1:50pm

I think I know how the ground was made and what the lace is, but first I'll hear what the big lace makers say. 


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