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 Devon Thein on February 2, 2018 at 9:34am

I wish we had a close-up photo of this. It reminds me of a piece we have in the museum which arrived in 1909. I have spent a fair amount of time looking at that piece and trying to figure out what it was. We found these websites that explained  how you could make something like this on a small loom. Take a look at these links 


Perhaps the best illustration is this Youtube

I don't even know what you would call this. Maybe "tying"?

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on February 2, 2018 at 9:16am

I received a note back from Rita: "Hi Nancy, I don't think it is netting or lacis. When I blow it up fairly large, I do not see knots, I see fibers twisting together, not knotted together."

So we're back to my initial thought that those intersections were twists rather than very smooth knots. If so, then it could have been done using bobbins, I suppose, with each intersection supported by a pin and the threads doing noting more than twisting above the pin, rather like a point ground but with two crosses at each pin and no twists. That isn't like any bobbin-lace I know of however.

I think we are dependent now on Karen to look really closely at where it is coming apart to tell us if it is knotted or twisted, and to look at the bottom edge to see if there are threads ending there or is it continuous as if it started from that edge.  

Comment by Paula Harten on February 1, 2018 at 6:18pm

Sorry, I did not mean to infer that it was filet net as that is done with a shuttle with a single thread, as is needle knotted laces such as is Armenian, although there they have a way of joining loops to look tike this.  It is most like Greek Finger Lace, except for dealing with so many ends.  Definitely not filet.  Filet would not have threads to bundle at the end anyway.

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on February 1, 2018 at 3:23pm

It's definitely not bobbin-lace -- I'd bet a thousand bucks on that. I just emailed Rita and sent her the link to the original post. I'm sure she will be able to say if it is or isn't filet netting.  Meanwhile, Karen, could you look at the way the small tassels are attached and see if the threads of the netting tie on the tassel, and/or go down into the tassel?

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on February 1, 2018 at 3:04pm

I disagree about where the lace was started. It looks like bundles of threads going up the sides of the triangles away from the points, as if it was worked from the fabric edge down and the ends were bundled up and trimmed. At the very points, it looks to me as if the ends of the threads were knotted in the tassle, attaching the tassle and burying the ends of the threads inside. It really doesn't look like filet lace to me, because the path of the threads look to me like they are going in a generally zigzag line from the fabric to the edge, whereas filet is made by tying loops of thread along the diagonal if a rectangular piece is being made. Rita Bartholomew (the woman behind knotsindeed) would know in a flash I'll bet, and she's a member of this ning circle. Is it possible to tag a member? I'll email her with a link to the initial post.

Comment by Karen Spencer on February 1, 2018 at 2:58pm

Thank you Gabriele and Paula....I had thought a few days ago it could be filet net....but then I switched back to being confused again and thinking bobbin lace etc.  I will go back to research on filet net, and I thank you Gabriele for your web site I can go to and videos I can watch.

Much appreciation to everyone again for all of your thoughts on this.

-Karen Spencer

Comment by Gabriele Patzner on February 1, 2018 at 1:02pm
Comment by Paula Harten on February 1, 2018 at 12:01pm

This appears to me that this hand knotted lace was started at the points by supporting threads in the manner of bobbin lace and then worked to the desired width of the edging.  I say this because there are no ends to make the fringe at the points as in most hand knotted lace.  There are not enough threads bundled along the sides of the points and across the bottom of them to have worked out all the extra pairs if it was made from the other direction.  The tassels were added later.  The attachment of the threads to the fabric also does not look to have been attached by pulling through a loop and knotting as in starting Greek finger lace, for example.  This theory does bring up questions of how all the loose ends were secured in the hem of the cloth and how the edging was joined to itself, or is the edging only on some of the cloth?  It would be nice to see a few more images.

I keep looking for any chance that it might have possibly been done in the manner of Armenian needle knotted lace, but it is not quite right with the double threads.

As for the age, I is quite possible for an 80 yr old to have a great grandmother born in the  very early 1800's who would not have made this until she was older, thus having made the lace easily in the 1800's.

I suppose this just confuses the matter.


Comment by Karen Spencer on February 1, 2018 at 10:01am

Thank you Nancy and Sally again for your thoughts on what this lace pattern is called.  I don't have documentation that it is from the 1700's.  This tablecloth actually belongs to a friend of mine who is in her 80's....and she has had it in her trunk and told me it was her great grandmother that had made it and stated also that she was told it was made in the 1700's.  That said.....the tale behind this tablecloth is word-of-mouth.....and perhaps over the years "who" actually made this may have changed as the story was passed in other words if it was actually her grandmother that made it instead of her great grandmother.....that would date it to the late 1800's at best....that said....your stating Nancy that the technique has the feel of the late 1800's would fall into place more.  I will check the Weldon set.  I just touched base with my friend today and she said the fiber is made of 2 the size of a thick sewing thread, the other 3 times that thickness, and the squares are 1/4 inch from knot to knot...I had her measure that yesterday being I couldn't remember the size...and pictures look larger than actual size at times.  I was thinking the other day Nancy....that this could be macrame I used to make macrame items in my 20's (40 years ago now) I will research Weldon....and macrame.  Sally....thank you also for your thoughts.....very helpful.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts....I feel I am getting closer to narrowing this down.

-Karen Spencer

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on February 1, 2018 at 6:29am

Yes, of course it's not sprang. Sorry I threw that red herring in there. The knotting pattern suggests it's a kind of macrame, done with a pair or groups of warp threads from a fabric rather than cords. Someone who has the set of Weldon reprints might check in there for directions for doing this. 

I am 99% sure it's not from the 1700's. First, what is the fiber? It looks like it might be cotton, which I think would likely rule out earlier than the mid-1800's. The technique has the feel to me of late 1800's / early 1900's, but check the Weldon set.


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