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: 138
Latest Activity: Jun 26

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

Strange mesh 3 Replies

Does anyone recognize this lace? My first thought was Lille, but the design is a little off, more like 19th c Valenciennes. Maybe Valenciennes with a round-hole mesh? But Val isn't known for the…Continue

Started by Laurie Waters. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jun 26.

Lacemaking history 6 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 Waters May 13.

Mystery technique 6 Replies

Someone has contacted the New England Lace Group to ask for help identifying the technique used to make a shawl, the fiber used and how best to repair it. The first problem is actually figuring out…Continue

Started by Jill Hawkins. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Feb 10.

History of Lacemaking 3 Replies

A friend has been asked to make a presentation about the history of lacemaking. She asked about reference books for her preparation.  My suggestion is An Early Lace Workbook by Rosemary…Continue

Started by Sally Olsen. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 31.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Devon Thein on June 23, 2019 at 1:57pm

I have had a look at Ann Buck's book and I see what Lorelei means about the same type of flower. I guess it is a rose. The date on one of these rose pieces is 1860-80. It would be interesting to know if there was an international style trend of roses at this time, especially ones that look like this. But, one thing looking at the roses in this book reveals is that the roses on the handkerchief don't resemble them very much. The Roses in the Buck book have details provided by interior gimps surrounding spaces. The roses in the handkerchief are very dense. In fact, they are so dense, I think I can even see little tufts of thread suggesting that threads were put in and taken out in the manner of 19th century Valenciennes to make for a very solid white contrast to the ground. 

Regarding the term guipure, I have always gone on the supposition that it means a lace that has no mesh, thus it is joined by bars.

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on June 22, 2019 at 11:24pm

I think it might help to clarify something: as far as I can see, no one was ever suggesting that corners were joined by lassen. Obviously they are not, they are seamed. The reason flat corners were brought into the discussion is that if there were no longer gathered corners in which to hide a seamed join, then there would be reason to develop the lassen technique, to make the join inconspicuous if the corners were not seamed but worked continuously. One would not expect to see lassen at all in a piece with joined corners--there'd be no need for it.. Determining when worked flat corners in rectangular-grid lace began gives an estimate of when lassen was developed. But I'll repeat again: no one was ever suggesting that lassen was used at the corners--they are obviously seamed, and could hardly be anything else since matching overlap would usually be impossible.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 10:41pm

I want to apologize for tuning into this discussion so very late. I've been dealing with one problem after another since late December. I've been avoiding anything that requires effort, saving my energies for the various disasters.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 10:39pm

Devon's example of Valenciennes de Gand Is exactly the motif shapes I was thinking of when I said the piece was reminiscent of Val.

For older Bedfordshire designs, look at Ann Buck's book on Thomas Lester. That takes Beds back to around 1850. The IOLI library probably has a copy of that book.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 10:35pm

I think Carolina's reference to Leni Matthei is most helpful. There we do see a very similar ground.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 10:20pm

48.187.645 is not Honiton, I think. There is nothing about the style which suggests Honiton of the 19th century, and it certainly isn't 20th century. It does appear to be a straight lace (continuous lace) with motif threads moving into that strange ground.

The density of the motifs and their shape are somewhat reminiscent of Valenciennes, but the ground certainly isn't Val ground, or even a distant relative. That ground is very odd.

I don't think it is Beds, because the design, the style, isn't anywhere like any Beds lace I have seen. Beds designs have a graceful, organic feel to them -- not a very specific description. But I really don't think Cluny or Maltese.

I think it is continental on structural and stylistic grounds. But exactly where I don't know. It isn't like any 19th century LePuy lace that I have seen. I would lable it "continental guipure" except it doesn't have a braided ground (plaited ground). It could be France, Germany, Italy ??? Doris Southard used the term "continental guipure" to refer to floral design  straight laces of continental origin (no specific country) with a braided/plaited ground. 

Nancy I appreciate your reference to that page in my website. I haven't given any geographical names to any of those because I simply don't know. I won't make definite statements unless I am reasonably sure.

Regarding the term "guipure", I have also seen it used by central European lace makers to refer to modern lace designs which are pictorial, and which may have both straight lace and part lace structures in them. So I suppose it is a flawed term and we should find something to replace it.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 10:05pm

06.629. and 1979.311.12

Both are tragic examples of what happens when lace is washed by careless people who don't know how to keep it flat. What a mess they both are.

In the Paris ground lace they sure did overdo the overcasting to join the 2 pieces.

The ground in the Flanders ground piece is very strange.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 9:58pm

Your Binche piece corners are not lassen, but what I would call seamed. Very expertly seamed, almost invisibly. As to using thread much smaller than the lacemaking thread, it is what I would use. Failing the existence of thread the same color and finer that the lace thread, I would use the lace thread, so it would match, at least. I'm not convinced there was ever a firm rule about it. Also I think the dates you have given for that piece are probably quite accurate, based on the style of the lace design alone. It is not anything like the really old laces with this structure. It is what I would call a better-than-usual quality of design for that period.

The Val lace wasn't joined quite so expertly. But I suppose the openness of the ground makes that impossible.

I haven't a clue when lassen first began to be used to join lace ends together.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 4:54pm

A new site with comparison photos. Looks quite useful.

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on June 20, 2019 at 10:43am

The design looks to me like v early 1900s German, or floral Beds as Cindy suggests. I don't know how far back floral Beds goes and I can't find my copy of the recent book on it. Besides the design, the edges of the cloth stitch argues for one of those. Are there floral Beds without leaves?


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

© 2020   Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service