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.

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Latest Activity: on Friday

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 Sep 17.

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 Nancy A. Neff on June 18, 2019 at 7:37pm

I shouldn't have said it might be Le Puy -- there are no leaves, and leaves are a major design elements in the Cluny/Beds/Maltese family. I don't know a name for the German lace I remember. One of them is this one:, and another is:

I've checked but I don't own either of them so I can't look inside to see if I'm remembering correctly, but the lace on the cover of the second one looks like the Cluny/Beds family with those leaves so maybe I'm on the wrong track.

Comment by Devon Thein on June 18, 2019 at 3:44pm

Nancy, could you point me toward these German bobbin lace books? Yes, I think if we decide this is a Cluny/Beds/Maltese lace then we have to start wondering where it was made. Any other thoughts?

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on June 18, 2019 at 3:12pm

Yes, it's either a Le Puy en Velay France or from elsewhere in the continent--I'd say now that I think about it that it's probably German. I've seen very similar lace, including that ground, in German bobbin lace books from the very late 1800's and early 1900's, I think similarly without a gimp. However, see Lorelei Halley's page on guipure straight laces -- she's much less specific in country of origin:

This one I'd be reluctant to put a single-word label to it, but I'd describe it as a late 19th C straight lace, probably German, with a woven-bar ground, with solid cloth-stitch motifs, and no gimp. There doesn't look like there's any half stitch in the whole piece -- is that right?

BTW, the other reason it's certainly not Honiton type of lace is that the edges of the cloth-stitched motifs don't show the Honiton structure of an edging pin-under-4, then a single heavy thread in the outermost pair around the edge of the cloth-stitch. 

(It seems peculiar to me to talk about a straight lace being a guipure lace, since I thought guipures were added between motifs, hence were only in part laces, but I evidently must go look at some definitions...)

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on June 18, 2019 at 2:52pm

Honiton is a part lace, whereas Beds is a straight lace. In Honiton, the grounds are worked by hanging new pairs on the edges of the motifs. It's amazing but this piece looks like a straight lace to me -- I haven't been able to find in any of your pictures anyplace where the threads at a join didn't run from the cloth-stitch of one side into the braid or cloth-stitch of the other side. Besides, why would there be a visible join if the lace hadn't been made with the motifs and the grounds integral, made at the same time -- so we know it's a straight lace.

Aren't there some unusual grounds in Cluny Le Puy laces? I will look, if I can get to those books.

Anyway, the one thing I'd say for sure that it isn't the Honiton type of lace, regardless of where it was made. It IS a straight lace.

Comment by Laura Sandison on June 18, 2019 at 2:49pm

My initial thought was also Beds. I can't say why, other than the flow of the design. The thing I don't like is the headside edge. But then again,it may be experimental and a show or custom piece. It is pretty phenomenal!

Comment by Devon Thein on June 18, 2019 at 10:01am

Now that I am thinking about it...maybe Bedfordshire lace? More photos of 48.187.645.

Comment by Laura Sandison on June 18, 2019 at 9:25am

This is a very interesting piece, Devon. I'm very curious about it, too! It is quite stunning, and well designed and executed. Might have to be on a viewing list sometime.

Comment by Devon Thein on June 18, 2019 at 9:13am

Perhaps I can use the opportunity of discussing handkerchief joining to ask the forum another question. Here is a handkerchief, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 48.187.645. If you needed to describe this for the data base, what would you call it? Is there reason to believe it was made in Honiton? I think perhaps the background mesh is one that is used in Honiton fillings. However, classifying it as Honiton seems wrong. Has anyone seen anything like this? In this handkerchief the joining is not at the corner. If you  look at the overall photo you can see about 2/3 down on the right a slightly heavier diagonal line which is the join. I am also providing a close up of that. 

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on June 16, 2019 at 6:10pm

In both examples of a lassen join below, it looks to me like the thread used for the join is exactly the same thread as in the rest of the lace shown. Certainly not smaller. What do others think?

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on June 16, 2019 at 6:05pm

So those are sewn corners in the Val below, not drafted. But WOW, those are beautiful joins. It took magnification for me to be confident that they were sewn. (And therefore no need for a lassen join in one of the edges.) Thanks Devon!


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