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 deborah greenfield on October 17, 2018 at 5:21am
Thanks as always for your comments. The tape lace one has some places where two layers of lace cross over but others, like the cross and sort of leaf shaped pieces have no joins at all.
Comment by Lagartija on October 16, 2018 at 8:51pm
I agree with Lorelei, that second piece does not look handmade. It certainly isn't needlelace. It looks machine made to me.
Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 16, 2018 at 6:41pm

I have serious doubts that the 2nd piece is handmade at all.

The red rings show areas where there are picots on the edge bars. I see rabbit ears, 2 loops for each picot. Hand made needle lace would not have rabbit ears. Each picot would be a single loop of thread.

The green rings isolate areas that appear to be imitations of bobbin lace tallies. They are not really clear. They look fuzzy. Something isn't right here.

I would like to hear from our other members about these laces.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 16, 2018 at 6:31pm

I am not an expert on needle lace, to the degree that I can claim for bobbin lace. The first piece you posted is interesting, but I have questions.

My first question involves the element that looks like a tape. The red rings show areas where tapes abut each other. If, looking closely at the actual object, if you can see 2 layers at those crossover points I would questions whether this might be a tape lace, made with flat tapes sewn together and held to each other with a needle ground.  If those tape shaped elements do not have crossovers or 2 layers, then the "tapes" are probably needle made.

The green rings are definitely buttonholed bars -- true needle lace.

The blue edge motifs are also definetely needle made.

But I would not presume to specify a name, date or geographical origin. I don't have all that clear in my own head yet, for needle laces.

Comment by deborah greenfield on October 16, 2018 at 3:08pm

Here is the other needle lace piece mentioned below...

Comment by deborah greenfield on October 16, 2018 at 3:05pm

Hello, Posting here a couple of antique needle lace pieces from France, one I believe a handmade tape lace with a point de venise border, 8" deep, and the other a rough but sweet piece which has - I think - elements of point de neige, but rather primitive, approx 3.75" deep. Any thoughts? 

Comment by Carolina de la Guardia on June 25, 2018 at 10:24am

Thank you Devon for posting these interesting pieces of Milanese lace.

It is amazing that it seems that some lacemakers have always felt the need to innovate and create new lace possibilities. I suppose this is what leads to evolution.

In my recent visit to United States,  besides being in N.Y. I also stayed for a week in San Francisco and I had the opportunity to visit the Lacis Museum. Talking with Mr. Jules Kliot, one of subjects was that of the origin of bobbin lace. While he argued about the importance of the industrialization of pins in the expansion of bobbin lace, I maintained that the imitation of needlelace with bobbins was the success of bobbin lace, as an easier and quickly way to executate the laces.

By the way, Very interesting the exhibition ‘The fringe shawls’

Comment by Devon Thein on June 25, 2018 at 9:14am

Nancy- All three of them are all bobbin lace, with the exception of a mend on one of them. I posted the second one because Carolina had commented that she had not seen Milanese with a coarse edge thread before. It seems to me that there was a conscious attempt in these three pieces to make Milanese that looked like Mezzo Punto. I am posting a photo of an actual piece of Mezzo Punto here. They frequently stitched around the edge of the premade tape to make it look raised. 

Comment by Laura Sandison on June 22, 2018 at 10:19am

Yes, it does appear to be the half reef knot! What an interesting combination.

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on June 22, 2018 at 7:34am

It looks to me like all the fillings in the second one are bobbin lace. If you want to post closeups of each that you thought might be needlelace, I'll give the stitch sequence that would produce that filling.


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