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: Jul 4

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

Point ground

This is part of a collar from around 1890-1910. It is made in Sweden. I wonder if someone recognises the pattern or figures in the pattern. It is from Vadstena, but I suspect it is influenced from…Continue

Started by Karin Landtblom Jul 4.

One more from Selma Giöbel

This one is designed by the same woman, Selma Giöbel, that I wrote about in previous discussion.THe same question here, has anyone seen something similar to this? Could it origin from France?//Karin…Continue

Started by Karin Landtblom Jul 4.


This lace is from Sweden and (maybe) designed by Selma Giöbel, however she did import laces from France. My question is if anyone have seen something similar, and in that case if one can trace the…Continue

Started by Karin Landtblom Jul 4.

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.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Sally Olsen on April 27, 2018 at 6:40pm

I received this message from an embroidery friend:

"We have a friend who is doing a textile exhibit in Oaxaca Mexico using local artists.  The pieces below are cut work with lace. She was told it is based on Moorish influence and comes from Spain originally.  The artist calls it randa, which translates to lace, lace trimming. She is creating a catalogue for the exhibit,  so is looking for information about the technique.  Do you recognize the technique? I keep finding reference to spanish cutwork, but in a quick search cannot find details.

Thank you."
The picture that was included with the message does not provide much detail.  The squares on the graph paper remind me of kloster blocks for Hardanger.  

From what I have seen so far, it appears that randa is a general term used for lace-like embroidery techniques and is not necessarily a specific technique or style.  Is that correct?
- Sally
Comment by deborah greenfield on April 15, 2018 at 4:51am

Thank you both. That's all fascinating. Yes, looking under a magnifying glass and holding the piece up to the light there are some thickened areas but not always. In most cases it looks like the braid is threaded once through the edge of the tape. The fabric of this piece is very fine and lightweight, possibly linen, and the braids are very fine as well. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge. Not being a lace maker I don't understand all of what you say but certainly this deepens the way I look at this piece. 

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 14, 2018 at 8:29pm

I agree with Nancy. -- early 18th century or last half of 17th.  The lace may not have started out its life as lappets, but may have been cobbled into that form to serve a useful purpose. According to Santina Levey one distinguishing factor for the Flemish/Milanes question is how the braided attachment (I like to call them "joinings") works. In Flemish the braid is thrown across the gap, then sewn onto the edge of the lace until the next space where a joining needs to be. She thinks that Milanese did it differently. A braid, often with picots, was thrown across, sewn, then braided back to its starting point and sewn. This means that the Milanese method might have the joinings made as the tape itself was being made. But in the Flemish version the tape would be completed and then 4 more bobbins would be added temporarily to make the joining.

Your piece looks like the Milanese method, but I am not certain. There should be a thickened area where the braid was carried along the edge of the tape, but it is inconsistent in this piece. Perhaps you might be able to tell with the actual piece in hand, with good magnification.

This piece is not pure tape lace, which I define (in an idiosyncratic manner), as a lace where the tape has a constant number of bobbins throughout, with no bobbins added or cut out, and without discrete motifs, such as the flowers in this piece. It looks like a tape lace stylistically, but structurally is a part lace. It is just that the design has not migrated to the distinct flowers and leaves of Brussles or Duchesse. In my private study at the textile department at the Art Institute of Chicago, I saw many Flemish and Milanese laces. Both regions might produce laces with discrete motifs, or without them (and only a pure tape). At that time I could not tell the difference between the 2 places of origin, except by Levey's idea about the joinings. Stylistically they were indistinguishable. Although at the time I knew a good deal less than I do now.

An interesting piece.

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on April 14, 2018 at 5:36pm

I agree that this is early 18th C, could be as early as late 17th C but unlikely given the floral design. It could be either Milanese or Flemish--there are few non-cloth stitch design areas in the tapes, which to me indicates it's as likely to be Flemish. (At first I thought the cross-hatch filling in the flowers was a stitch I see in the 17th-to-18th C Antwerp laces but it's not, so that isn't evidence one way or the other.) Other points to consider: Does the guipure argue for Italian vs. Flemish? Were lappets worn in Italy?

Comment by deborah greenfield on April 14, 2018 at 3:39pm

Thank you Carolina. That's very helpful. As is your interesting page. The slide show is great!

Comment by Carolina de la Guardia on April 14, 2018 at 3:26pm

If you like to read some more info about Milanese lace, maybe you will visit my site

Comment by Carolina de la Guardia on April 14, 2018 at 3:23pm

I think this is a Milanese lace. Ground bar,  probably from early 18 century.

Comment by deborah greenfield on April 14, 2018 at 9:48am

Hello experts, Here is what I believe is an 18th C tape lace lappet...?? Any info or thoughts much appreciated. Thanks in advance. Deborah

Comment by Jo Edkins on March 6, 2018 at 4:41am

Nope. I just put "fashion history vol" into Google! That link I gave has some reviews which might give you some idea. That book has 2 volumes. It might not be the one you were talking about.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on March 5, 2018 at 7:20pm

Jo, thanks. Do you have any detail about the contents?


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