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: 119
Latest Activity: on Friday

Examples + Resources


Descriptions of several styles 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:


 Bobbin lace    antiquebobbinlace     bobbinlace3     Needle lace    needlelace2 

Tatting     tatting2   tatting3      

Embroidery on tulle-needlerun      Embroidery on tulle-tambour        Carrickmacross  

Filet lace    filetlace2    filetlace3   filet lace4    Buratto 

Sol lace   sollace2   sol lace3

Knitted lace    knittedlace2     Crochet lace        Irish crochet lace      IrishCrochet2      

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)   

I don't know how this machine relates to the Barmen or Rascheel (or other machine)

Bobbin tape lace  bobbin tape lace 2   

Mixed tape lace-machinetape      Romanian needlepoint lace  

For recognizing Swedish bobbin lace:




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

Once Again on Chantilly Hand vs Machine made 5 Replies

Hello, Ages ago we had a discussion on distinguishing handmade vs machinemade Chantilly lace. I found it very helpful but now have a couple of pieces that I'm again not sure about. These 2 lace…Continue

Started by deborah greenfield. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jun 2.

Help to identify old bobbin(?) lace 4 Replies

I inherited this shawl and am a complete beginner in lace knowledge. I appreciate that there are knowledgeable and generous people here to help me identify it. I have pictures of every section, but…Continue

Started by Cindy Brown. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jun 1.

Large banquet cloth 1 Reply

Hopefully somebody has some ideas about this very large banquet cloth - or bedspread?  I have not seen it. These grainy photos are all I have. It looks to me like early 20th century bobbin lace. Do…Continue

Started by Karen Thompson. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Apr 20.

Lace Identification Help 6 11 Replies


Started by Bobbie Eccles. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Laura Sandison on Friday

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

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on Friday

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.

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on Friday

Carolina is right:  twist twice the two pairs coming in, do a half-reef knot with the inside bobbins of each pair, then twist twice with the outside pairs. The only thing I disagree with is that I think there are two twists in the vertical outside pairs between the horizontal bars formed by the half-reef knot, but in many instances it's rather hard to tell--it looks to me like the lace has been washed, and perhaps ironed.

Comment by Carolina de la Guardia on Thursday

Lorelei I am not speaking of half stitch but a half knot or maybe you call it a half reef knot. This is what it is curious and different. As Devon says probably to imitate needlelace.

The two inners bobbins (threads) are half knotted, then one twist with the outer bobbin at each side. The stitch is the result of repeating three times these moves.

It can be put a pin in the middle between every step, to get the hole more visible but it is not absolutely necessary.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on Wednesday

I think that what Carolina is suggesting is a pinchain (used in Bucks). You do a stack of half stitches, with an extra twist between each cross. ctt ctt ctt  But your photo doesn't look like that. I will try to find an example.

Comment by Carolina de la Guardia on Tuesday

Devon, I stayed in N.Y. for three days and just wanted to say hello.

And yes, I wanted to mean “clasify”.

This is what I think about the filling...

Two pairs: Half knot with the inner threads, one twist every pair. This repeated three times. I like the result, I shall try to use it in some next design.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on Tuesday

Your 1st piece today does look like Milanese. The double braids are the feature that suggests this, according to Santina Levey. And the fillings in this one are definitely bobbin lace. The plain looking fillings appear to be something like Mechlin or droschel ground. And of course, some have tallies instead of the stack of half stitches.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on Tuesday

The 2nd one you posted today (with several photos) -- the fillings inside the tape look like corded twisted buttonhole stitch, in groups of 3. I see nothing which suggests a bobbin lace filling. Also, I don't see anything that definitively makes it Milanese. I find it very hard to distinguish Milanese and Flemish tape laces. 

Comment by Laura Sandison on Tuesday

My thought is bobbin lace for sure. The tape is worked as a cloth tape, but with an interesting compensation at the inner curves. Rather than dropping one pair at a time, there are several that are picked up when the tape comes around. Inner fillings are a curiosity! But appear to come from pairs within the tape. It does seem that the joins are added later. Perhaps after the tape is filled, they are added, as a pair, and taken around to join the motives. There are so many ends that this seems reasonable.  What interesting pieces!  The one yesterday I feel the same about. Perhaps those heavy, twisted outline pair are to represent the padding on gros point?

Comment by Devon Thein on Tuesday

Here is another one, where the appearance of needle lace is done even better! 

I think it is really bobbin lace, though. But I can't figure out how they do it. I can see two pairs coming in. Somehow, one of each pair interact, But it isn't a simple cross. Is it a more elaborate interaction where you hold the bobbins in your hand and cross them several times like tying a bow? Then the pairs resume, twist, perhaps twice. Then they do the elaborate interaction between one bobbin of each pair. Then they resume, twist. Then the elaborate interaction. I can't really figure it out. But I don't think it is needle lace. Can anyone else figure it out? Maybe they have seen this before? 


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