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: yesterday

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 3 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 yesterday.

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 June 18, 2018 at 5:57pm

Devon - I think you are right.

Comment by Devon Thein on June 18, 2018 at 7:28am

It is not the same as a false plait. A false plait is sewing into itself in an attempt to look like one solid bar. It is true that it might look like a false plait if tensioning were not being provided by the final edge pair. Here is the world's worst diagram.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 17, 2018 at 11:28pm

It is certainly very odd. Definitely bobbin lace,  but I'm not sure about the ground. If it were sewing to a previous row, it could not, physically could not, produce the twisting I see on both the outward and return journey. It would be essentially the same as what is called a "false plait" in bobbin lace. This piece below has false plaits (the ones which do not have picots are false plaits).

This one also has false plaits. On the return journey, after the sewing is done, you then have to sew the sewn pair onto itself several times. If done very neatly it can look like a plait/braid or twisted bar, from a distance. But usually they are more visible than that. I admit myself to be doubtful on any certainty.

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on June 17, 2018 at 10:09pm

No, Devon, don't despair! I think your eyes are excellent!!  What an interesting piece, though. From the distant photo, - it has a Gros Point Needle lace, look to it - the design part, - but close up it is certainly a bobbin lace. the thick outline thread seems to be secured at every Other row, or after 2 rows,so it is raised up a bit.   the ground is odd!  and joins the braids differently than needle-made ground stitches would join, I think. 

Comment by Devon Thein on June 17, 2018 at 6:43pm

A bobbin lace ground that is mistaken for needle lace in a 17th century piece?

Here is a 17th century piece which originally seemed to be mezzo punto and was cataloged as having needle lace grounds. But when I looked at it closely, it seemed to me that the ground was made by doing twists and sewings. On one side of the filled area the sewings are done into the twisted edge pair (red). On the other side the twisted edge pair sews into the last row of twists and sewings (purple). Are my eyes deceiving me? I think it is all bobbin lace. Has anyone ever seen this before? 

Interesting as well is the wrapped thread used on each side of the cloth work, sort of as a coarse thread.

Comment by deborah greenfield on May 17, 2018 at 4:11pm

Yes, I see the difference now.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on May 16, 2018 at 4:59pm

Here are some photos of some bobbin made grounds. 

and some bobbin lace grounds and little bits to help in identification

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on May 16, 2018 at 4:53pm

To recognize needle lace grounds you need to have worked some of the stitches. There really isn't any other good way to be sure. I recognized the shaped and angularity of the stitches. On my web page below look for the variations on twisted buttonhole stitch, including point d'Espagna and English stitch. 

This one will have some discussion, and some photos added to comment boxes. 

Comment by deborah greenfield on May 16, 2018 at 10:55am

Dear Lorelei, As always, thank you so much. On your personal page it seems to me your no 165 bn is the most like this one. I'll attach here 2 pix showing the lace closer up. How do you tell needle lace as aopposed to bobbin made grounds? My uderstanding of part lace is when the different elements are made seperately and then attached when ready - is that right? Here are the close ups, joined together


Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on May 15, 2018 at 5:17pm

I think these are the ones that are the inspiration for the design of your piece.


Translate This Site



Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 7:07pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 9, 2014.


Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 7:29pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Sep 2, 2014.

How to Post a Long Article

Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Mar 7, 2013 at 4:47pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Mar 7, 2013.


Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 6:58pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 20, 2012.

How to embed a video on the IOLI site

Created by Tatman Jan 25, 2012 at 3:26pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 25, 2012.





Other Events

Laurie Waters has a very substantial EVENTS list on lacenews.   

EU Cookie Directive

© 2019   Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service