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: 119
Latest Activity: on Friday

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

Once Again on Chantilly Hand vs Machine made 5 Replies

Hello, Ages ago we had a discussion on distinguishing handmade vs machinemade Chantilly lace. I found it very helpful but now have a couple of pieces that I'm again not sure about. These 2 lace…Continue

Started by deborah greenfield. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jun 2.

Help to identify old bobbin(?) lace 4 Replies

I inherited this shawl and am a complete beginner in lace knowledge. I appreciate that there are knowledgeable and generous people here to help me identify it. I have pictures of every section, but…Continue

Started by Cindy Brown. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jun 1.

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.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on February 8, 2018 at 4:50pm

This might be interesting to lace historians as a way to anchor thinking about lace shapes and time.

Comment by Karen Spencer on February 8, 2018 at 9:59am

Nancy & the other ladies-

Thank you for the travel info.  And thank you ladies for all of your help with trying to identify this lace pattern.  I am going to try to putter with a "combination" of macrame and needle lace (Armenian) and see if I can work something up that looks like it.  I believe at this point this is my best option.  For all we know...the person that made this lace border just did it off the top of her head by combining methods also.  This may be why this pattern is so hard to find.  I'll keep you posted on how it went .... thank you all again.

-Karen Spencer

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on February 7, 2018 at 4:29pm

Goldenberg 1904 says that "W. Felkin, in his history of lace manufacture, says that lace net was first made by machinery in 1768. Other authorities place the date as between 1758 and 1760." But you are right, Lorelei, that it's not early 1700s, and I don't know how authoritative his references are. 

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on February 7, 2018 at 3:57pm


About the date for machine made lace -- definitely not the early 1700s. The machine was invented in the 1780s for making clear net, but it was mostly experimental. It wasn't until the 1820s or 1830s that it became a serious factor.


Comment by Nancy A. Neff on February 7, 2018 at 2:53pm

Karen, This is off-topic but your question for Maija is an important one. Look at the travel advisories from the US State Department:  Your daughter should also sign up for their STEP program, to get advisories sent to her for specific countries, both before her trips and while she's overseas. A link to STEP is on the page at the above URL. HTH.

Comment by Karen Spencer on February 6, 2018 at 8:53pm


     Thank you....that is a relief.  I know there was machine made lace in the early 1700' when you said that at first....I thought perhaps you were correct.  Glad you said "hand made" lace now....that is a relief.  Now I just have to figure out how to do it !!  Chuckling.  I am repairing the torn parts on my friends tablecloth.  Or I should say....I offered to.  But I don't know if I can figure this out.  Others have said it's not bobbin lace, not tatting, possibly macrame.  So I will probably try macrame.  Macrame would explain how it would be "2 threaded" like it is...and macrame started as early as the 1300's.  I noticed you live in Finland.  My daughter has been traveling to Europe for 3 years now....humor me....but is Finland safe with all that is going on?  She hasn't said she'd go there yet....but she may.  I suppose it's as safe as anywhere else.  She has been to Italy, France, Belgium and Portugal so far.  I bet it's pretty there.  Thank you for your help identifying this lace.


Comment by Maija Aatelo on February 6, 2018 at 12:14pm

Hi Karen,

Sorry for my wretched English!

I did not mean machine-made lace, but hand-made lace made separately and then fixed to the edge of the cloth. The blue tassels and flowers are surely hand-made, as well as the lace itself as well.

Best wishes


Comment by Karen Spencer on February 6, 2018 at 9:21am

Hi Maija-

     Thank you for helping identify this lace.  Have you seen the other 2 pics I have sent previously showing the blue yarn flowers and tassels?  Is it possible for a machine back then to do that work also (?) .... I don't know....just asking as that part stumps me thinking this was ready-made lace.  I am also stumped thinking I could macrame this as macrame has to start with the threads being attached to a stick or ring, or something of that nature........perhaps I could slide the work off after finished (that's if I have success at making it) and attach that area to the tablecloth at that point.  Just guessing.  I have attached the original 2 pictures to this comment to make sure you saw the embroidery I am questioning.  

Thank you again,

Karen Spencer0125181524_resized%202.jpg

Comment by Maija Aatelo on February 5, 2018 at 5:18pm

Hi Ladies!

The lace have been fixed as ready-made lace to the edge of the cloth.
It would not have been possible to start the lace as macramé, with a lot of yarns fixed with such loose simple stitches. The yarns should have been knotted much more proper.
There is as well one place in the new picture where the yarn is fixed with two stiches, which as well indicates the lace has been fixed as a ready-made long ribbon lace.
The technique it self it's unknown to me.

Comment by Karen Spencer on February 5, 2018 at 9:26am

Hi Ladies !

    My friend sent me 2 more pictures of where this lace pattern attaches to her tablecloth.  She said the threads are "knotted" but she was not able to untie one of the knots to see what kind of knot it is.

    Currently I am thinking this is along the lines of macrame.  I had done macrame in my early 20's, and there are some diamond designs that look like this.  I am going to practice this design using macrame this week and see how it goes and if  I can get it to look similar.  The difficult part may be getting the diamonds to be only 1/4 inch in length from one to another as my friend stated.  I was used to using much larger rope and much larger designs.  But we'll see...

Attached a couple pics she sent to me this weekend.   She also said it appears the design was started by connecting strings of thread to a "cord" and working it down from there which also sounds like macrame.   I noticed the pattern was hand sewn onto the tablecloth here and there perhaps to keep the lace straight and not droop in some areas....just guessing.Lace%20attached%20to%20bedspread.jpg


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