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 Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 24, 2020 at 7:20pm

What are Copenhagen holes? I haven't heard that phrase before. I agree, the design is very odd. I have no clear idea how to distinguish Tonder from Bucks. The largest number of Tonder laces that I have seen are pieces made by Doris Southard from Tonder patterns. They comprise most of the point ground laces on my website. Look for the ones labeled DS.  

I must say that I've seen more weird designs in English books than weird Danish, but I have no certainty about it.

Comment by Devon Thein on April 22, 2020 at 2:13pm

I have encountered this piece of Tonder lace dating from about 1800. I don’t doubt that it is Tonder of this date because it was identified by an expert. However, I have never seen a piece that looked like this. The design is odd. I guess it is based on a flower basket design. Most Tonder lace is very orderly in appearance, but this one is sort of disorderly looking with stems that don’t connect and flowers that seem lop sided. Has anyone ever seen anything comparable to this? What characteristics do you think identify it as Tonder? I have not found any Copenhagen holes in it, although that is by no means a requirement for something to be Tonder. Thoughts?

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 19, 2020 at 8:13pm

I don't see any reason to think this is 1890-1920. Here are some thoughts about elements and dates. The straight edge with hardly any scallops suggests c. 1800.  The smallish motif at the edge also suggests that date. The sprig scattered in the body of the lace is something that was common in laces of that era, but the motif is too large. Laces from c 1790 - 1820 had smaller, simpler scattered motifs. The large amount of ground relative to the space devoted to motifs began to be common c. 1750 and continued to the end of that century. The ground, as you say, is definitely hand made, and I don't see any seam down the center. I would think it was made entire, not in parts.

Here is a link to some of the laces from my website which are just a little later in time that your piece. 

Comment by Devon Thein on April 19, 2020 at 8:32am

I am posting some close-up photos of the lappet (?) . From looking at the previous photo Maria thought it might be application on machine tulle, but I think that is not the case. However, the point de Paris ground has an interesting appearance, not very tight looking. Maybe due to washing? The translation of staal to sample makes sense. The pieces in the catalogue of the Gruuthusemuseum appear to be samples because they are just a small part of a lappet and the piece ends with pairs braided the way we finish up samples, as opposed to a cut edge or a prettily finished edge. But, where do these samples come from and why does the Gruuthusemuseum think they might be 20th century? The book was published in 1990 and the collection is in Bruges where people know a lot about lace. The piece I am studying appears to me to be two lappets sewn together that could date from the late 18th or the early 19th century. Thus my alarm when I see a photo of a sample that looks quite similar that claims 19th or 20th century as its date and that this photo comes from Bruges. 

Comment by Karen Thompson on April 18, 2020 at 6:21pm

I feel there is a very similar one at the Smithsonian, but I regretfully don't have access to the details outside the Museum. I had a good laugh at Google's translation "Steel for a hat slip"  Looking forward to input from others


Comment by Devon Thein on April 18, 2020 at 4:56pm

In the catalogue of the Gruutshusemuseum, Catalogus Van de Kantverzameling, I have encountered some photos of samples in Paris lace which call themselves Staal voor een Mutssenslip in Parijse Kloskant. They look a lot like a piece that I have been studying. What surprises me is that the piece I am studying seems like it is a pair of lappets sewn together, but these samples say they are 19de-20ste eeuw, which I think means 19th -20th century. The pieces look like they might be early 19th century, when people still wore lappets. But 20th century? Here is a photo of the piece I am studying and the photos from the book. What is a Staal voor een Mutsenslip? 

Comment by Devon Thein on April 6, 2020 at 8:09am

Elizabeth Kurella has called my attention to this article she wrote about the question of whether a piece of rosaline was produced in Belgium or Italy.

Comment by Devon Thein on April 5, 2020 at 3:27pm

Another question for Laurie. Is there anyway you can tell by looking at the mesh whether it was made with the thread passed across the pattern as in Burano?

Comment by Devon Thein on April 5, 2020 at 3:17pm

Thank you Laurie. I have seen people in Burano making needle lace and I think it is as you describe. At the time I thought it was odd, but I wasn't really processing what I was seeing.
I guess I have done my part to expand the confusion by translating Vieux Flandre to Old Flanders. Yes, it is a catch all term as you say, referring to early Flemish laces before they diverged into distinctly different kinds.
In her book, Guide to Lace and Linens, Kurella calls the lace, the one with Rosaline type flowers, but a needle mesh, Vieux Flandre.
She says: The translation of Vieux Flandre is "Old Flanders". The name appears in Belgian lace shop books but rarely in textbooks. The most likely explanation for the name is that by the nineteenth century, techniques and names had been recycled so many times that merchants were running out of unique names for these combinations. The lace is a unique combination of bobbin and needle lace, and deserves a label. "Belgian Stew" is descriptive, but not glamorous enough.
Then I saw in my book on Liederkerke that they were calling this Oud-Vlaamse, which would be Flemish for Vieux Flandre. I am going to post two pages from Ghislaine Eemans-Moors book where she describes the Vieux Flandre that was made near Aalst and Liederkerke. These are near Zele which is famous for needle lace.
I am intrigued by Punto Milano. I haven't found it in the first three books I have looked at. Do you have a source that you know of? Also, why do you think the floral terminations look Italian, like Cantu?

Comment by Laurie Waters on April 5, 2020 at 2:30pm

The reason the Burano mesh is square looking has to do with the way it is made. This is a pillow-made needlelace, rather than the handheld laces of Alencon and Belgium. In Burano a thread is passed across the pattern and pulled tight. The twisted stitches are made into the row below with the tip of the needle inserted under the straight thread before twisting the thread pulling through. You can then do one or two overcast stitches on this straight base.  It’s exactly the opposite of Alencon where you make the twisted stitch first, then do the overcasting into the top of that row on the return which produces a more hexagonal mesh.  I’ll do an IOLI article on this in the near future, for the moment I’m concentrating the hand-held needlelaces.


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