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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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 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.

Identification of two pieces of lace 27 Replies

My sister-in-law bought two pieces of lace while in Bize (southern France). She wants me to identify them. I assumed to start with that they are machine made, but I've looked carefully at them and…Continue

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Jo Edkins Oct 13, 2019.

Comment Wall


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

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!

Comment by Devon Thein on June 16, 2019 at 5:59pm

Found some lassen. The one with cinq trous ground is 06.629. It says it is circa 1800, but I don't know that I think that is correct. The other one, with Kat stitch 1979.311.12 is supposedly 19th century, joined lappets. Of course they were probably joined at a different time than they were made, since it appears that they are altered into a different style, possibly a tie? What do you think of the thread size?

Comment by Devon Thein on June 16, 2019 at 5:54pm

At Nancy's request here is Princess Alice handkerchief 63.196.17 corners.

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on June 16, 2019 at 5:41pm

This is an interesting question and discussion that I'm following here and on Arachne with a great deal of interest -- to the point of taking notes. So I have a request -- could everyone (maybe in all posts, not just this discussion) give the owner and, if one exists, the accession number of the piece of lace pictured. The number of the Binche below is visible in one of the photos and I happen to recognize the first two parts of the number as belonging to an acquisition by the Met. I'm guessing the Val is also one of the Met's, but source and identification would be much appreciated!

Comment by Devon Thein on June 16, 2019 at 5:17pm

More joins. Here is a Valenciennes joined in the corner, not lassen. 88.1.62 is the accession number (added.) 

Comment by Devon Thein on June 16, 2019 at 4:38pm

There is a technique called "lassen" which is used to join Flemish laces.  A discussion on a different forum relates to finding when this technique was used and whether the thread used for "lassen" could actually be 6 times narrower than the lace thread, assuming that the Flemish laces were made with the "finest" thread. So, we are looking around for historical examples of "lassen" attempting to set a time frame for it.  This is a handkerchief dated 1888 to 1902 (based on the owner's monogram). It is joined in each corner, and not using "lassen". In fact, I think each corner is differently done. 

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on January 19, 2019 at 8:03pm

Yes, now I see it.

Comment by Devon Thein on January 19, 2019 at 4:54pm

Dear Lorelei,

I think that you are looking at a piece of machine made mesh that was patched into the piece. Here is a photo where the machine made mesh is outlined in red, the handmade in green and in between you can see that they were overlapped. 

Yes, I think you are correct that when the motifs were small they applied them, because it was too much trouble to sew them in, whereas with larger motifs it might have been more time efficient to sew them in. . It is quite likely that both techniques are to be found in the same piece in some instances. 


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