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: 139
Latest Activity: Oct 21

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 Sally Olsen on October 21, 2020 at 10:47pm

Comment by Sally Olsen on October 10, 2020 at 11:25am

Comment by Laurie Waters on September 10, 2020 at 7:22pm

I have to get the pieces out of storage to get better photos - working on it.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on September 10, 2020 at 6:05pm

Here I have photos of 2 knotted buttonhole stitches. I don't know if they are relevant to this piece.

Comment by Devon Thein on September 10, 2020 at 9:36am


Could you provide close-ups of your pieces so I can see the stitches in the solid areas? Why do you think the stitches are knotted? My colleagues and i have been studying the stitches in our piece, and they look like twisted button hole stitch to us, not a knotted stitch. But we are not sure we would recognize the difference. In fact, maybe you could provide a diagram of the knotted stitch you think is used and I could give it a try. 

Another observation is that our piece seems to be in larger thread than your pieces, and not so complex. It is hard to see the details of the bottom photo, though so maybe that one is more comparable? 

Comment by Devon Thein on September 10, 2020 at 9:27am

I tried to follow the vine design. I think that the piece is a largely intact border with a candelabra centerpiece. But the points on either side, designated by the turquoise line, have been added and are not symmetrical as is the rest of the piece. On the lower left there is a missing bit of stem that you can see on the right. In this area there is a double tier of the more complicated arched edging that also appears sporadically elsewhere. Perhaps this is related to making and remaking in the 19th century? 

Comment by Devon Thein on September 10, 2020 at 9:11am


The dimensions are given as L. 24 1/2 x W. 5 1/2 to 6 3/4 inches.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on September 9, 2020 at 5:07pm


Thanks for the marvelous photos.

Comment by Laurie Waters on September 8, 2020 at 6:42pm

And in the first piece, you can see the initials S M in one of the flowers. See if you can find them :-)

Comment by Laurie Waters on September 8, 2020 at 6:41pm

By the way, t he third piece down in the photos I just posted I bought from the Pat Earnshaw estate. It's 15.5cm wide by 550 cm long! It has a definite scrolling repeat which is hard to pick out, and you can only guess at the flowers. I'm thinking there are hints of thistles occasionally.

Over the years I've sold two other pieces and I could really kick myself for that. One was an amazing collar...  I'll see if I can find a photo.


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