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: 130
Latest Activity: on Tuesday

Examples + Resources


Jean Leader's new website, different types 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:

Laces compared:

A university based website specializing in the social history attached to lacemaking


 Bobbin lace    antiquebobbinlace     bobbinlace3     Needle lace    needlelace2 

For recognizing Swedish bobbin lace:

Tatting     tatting2   tatting3      

Filet lace    filetlace2    filetlace3   filet lace4    Buratto 

Sol lace   sollace2   sol lace3

Knitted lace    knittedlace2     Crochet lace        Irish crochet lace      IrishCrochet2      


Bobbin tape lace  bobbin tape lace 2   

Mixed tape lace-machinetape      Romanian needlepoint lace  


Embroidery on tulle-needlerun      Embroidery on tulle-tambour        Carrickmacross  



This is what it takes to make a cloth stitch strip with a machine. I don't know which machine this is. ;

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) a booklet which purports to distinguish machine from hand made laces. Some of the diagrams of typical machine structural elements are quite good. But too many of the comparison photos do not have enough detail to verify whether they are in fact machine made or hand made. The photos don't all show the individual threads. Still, the booklet is useful for the diagrams and descriptions of the various machine laces.




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

Lacemaking history 5 Replies

Please, does anyone know for sure how lace tokens were used in Great Britain in the 1700s?I have read theories that the tokens were given in lieu of governmental coinage due to a coin shortage, but…Continue

Started by Laurie Elliott. Last reply by Laurie Elliott on Tuesday.

Need help identifying antique needle-made/tape lace from curtain

I have a group of 5 pieces of this wonderful antique lace, one of which was originally applied to an old, stretchy bobbin-net curtain and the rest were part of the collection.  The wides piece is…Continue

Started by Jeanne B Jun 13.

Lace maker? 5 Replies

This is a little different kind of ID, a question sent to me by a friend - Could this needlework picture perhaps show the woman making lace on a pillow - what do you think?…Continue

Started by Carolyn Wetzel. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator May 30.

More Spanish lace 2 Replies

While pondering the previous lace dress, I came across this piece. I feel that the design is a very Spanish looking one. But is there a name for this kind of design? Any information about where it…Continue

Started by Devon Thein. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator May 23.

Comment Wall


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

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. 

Comment by Cindy Tiger on January 11, 2018 at 10:36am

I am completely stumped by this lace. Can someone help me out? Unfortunately, I only have a picture of the back, but I am attaching a close-up along with a picture of the edging. The pattern is like nothing I've seen before - but I really like it!

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on December 14, 2017 at 4:46pm

Just for fun, I am posting a chart I made some years ago in an attempt to show where I think influences came from, and went to, various kinds of bobbin lace. Click on the image to see the detail.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 19, 2017 at 6:32pm

Here is a link to  an album of details. Some are machine lace, some are hand made. The little snippets were posted for comparison to lace that our members are trying to identify.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 19, 2017 at 6:30pm

Barbara - I looked at 284 and the thread paths don't look right. Not handmade. Lace 285 is clearer, definitely not handmade -- a machine made lace. But I'm not really clear in my own head which machine it would be. Lace 287 is not flat and not close up enough, but it doesn't look right, either.

Here is an example of hand made bobbin lace half stitch. Notice the horizontal line. 


And this one shows hand made point ground.


Comment by Barbara Vanselow on October 19, 2017 at 4:14pm

Sorry again, I got the wrong picture. This is part of the parasol  

output%20%287%29.jpg the last pic, 285 in another lace.


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