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: 115
Latest Activity: Feb 8

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

Lace Identification Help 6 11 Replies


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

Lace Identification Help 3 Hankie 7 Replies

Here is a hankie that measures…Continue

Started by Bobbie Eccles. Last reply by Elizabeth Ligeti Jan 19.

Lace Identification Help 5 Hanky 7 Replies

Another hanky ....I am thinking possibly Maltese?  …Continue

Started by Bobbie Eccles. Last reply by Bobbie Eccles Jan 19.

Lace Discussion Bebilla Lace 4 Replies

I am adding this large doily which I think is beautiful.  I believe it is Bebilla Lace.  …Continue

Started by Bobbie Eccles. Last reply by Loretta Holzberger Jan 18.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Karen Spencer on February 1, 2018 at 10:01am

Thank you Nancy and Sally again for your thoughts on what this lace pattern is called.  I don't have documentation that it is from the 1700's.  This tablecloth actually belongs to a friend of mine who is in her 80's....and she has had it in her trunk and told me it was her great grandmother that had made it and stated also that she was told it was made in the 1700's.  That said.....the tale behind this tablecloth is word-of-mouth.....and perhaps over the years "who" actually made this may have changed as the story was passed in other words if it was actually her grandmother that made it instead of her great grandmother.....that would date it to the late 1800's at best....that said....your stating Nancy that the technique has the feel of the late 1800's would fall into place more.  I will check the Weldon set.  I just touched base with my friend today and she said the fiber is made of 2 the size of a thick sewing thread, the other 3 times that thickness, and the squares are 1/4 inch from knot to knot...I had her measure that yesterday being I couldn't remember the size...and pictures look larger than actual size at times.  I was thinking the other day Nancy....that this could be macrame I used to make macrame items in my 20's (40 years ago now) I will research Weldon....and macrame.  Sally....thank you also for your thoughts.....very helpful.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts....I feel I am getting closer to narrowing this down.

-Karen Spencer

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on February 1, 2018 at 6:29am

Yes, of course it's not sprang. Sorry I threw that red herring in there. The knotting pattern suggests it's a kind of macrame, done with a pair or groups of warp threads from a fabric rather than cords. Someone who has the set of Weldon reprints might check in there for directions for doing this. 

I am 99% sure it's not from the 1700's. First, what is the fiber? It looks like it might be cotton, which I think would likely rule out earlier than the mid-1800's. The technique has the feel to me of late 1800's / early 1900's, but check the Weldon set.

Comment by Sally Olsen on January 31, 2018 at 11:34pm

The grid work appears to be worked by grouping threads and knotting them.  Then regroup the threads and knot them again.  You'll need to determine the number of threads per group in one row of knots and how they feed into the next row of knots.  You will also have to determine what kind(s) of knots are used.

Once you have reconstructed the grid work, then focus on the blue threads in the needle weaving and tassels.  You'll need to analyze how the tassels are constructed since they can be made in a variety of ways.  The needle weaving simply goes over and under the threads of the grid work.  Look at the patterns these stitches make, and how many stitches are in each area.  There are many books available on tassels and on needle weaving.  

Do you have documentation that dates the tablecloth to the 1700's rather than the 1900's?

Comment by Karen Spencer on January 31, 2018 at 11:05pm

Thanking everyone that commented on my lace ID question. All answers explained why I can not locate what type of lace this is....if this design is someone’s individual creation....they did a pretty good job being I can’t figure out how to make it myself to fix the torn areas.

Thank you all for your answers.

-Karen Spencer

Comment by Sally Olsen on January 31, 2018 at 10:55pm

This is a sample of Sprang from a class that I took at IOLI several years ago.  Sprang is a twisted technique, not a knotted technique.  Sprang is worked from the center and the twists are pushed away from the center.  The picture shows one side of the work because this sample was worked on a wide frame. 

The original picture reminds me of "finger lace" where the threads at the edge of a woven fabric are knotted in patterns to finish the edge.  


Comment by Administrator on January 31, 2018 at 5:47pm

It is not bobbin lace. That I am sure of. I doubt sprang also. Sprang would have a mirror image aspect to the design. This doesn't have that. I also see knots, as Carolina does. Sprang would not have knots. Truthfully I have no idea what this is. Possibly knotted square netting -- filet lacis. But the general appearance is not like filet. Also, each line of the ground is a doubled thread. That is quite peculiar. I can't imagine anybody doing that in filet.

I am also quite sure it does not date to the 1700s. The crudeness of the design and work suggests amateur work from a time when standards of work were quite low. More likely around 1900 or 20th century.

I am sorry to give an unwelcome identification. I know that can be a great disappointment.


Comment by Nancy A. Neff on January 31, 2018 at 3:47pm

Could the net be sprang? I've read about it, and seen it in person once but didn't know enough to know what I was looking at. This seems to fit the descriptions I've read and what I remember seeing--a net made entirely from warp threads.

Comment by Carolina de la Guardia on January 31, 2018 at 2:18pm

I think this is not bobbin lace, but net lace. It seems to me that the threads are knotted.

Comment by Karen Spencer on January 31, 2018 at 1:30pm


     Need identification for the attached photo of a lace border made for a tablecloth in the 1700's. Some of the lace along the border has come apart, so I would like to remake those areas.  I am guessing "bobbin lace" (?) .  Any help in identifying this lace will be appreciated.

Thank you,

Karen Spencertablecloth border...1700's_resized.jpg

Comment by Administrator on January 11, 2018 at 6:41pm

Tebbs, L.A. The Art of Bobbin Lace, Chapman and Hall, 1907, 105 pages. Note: Scanned images provided by Tess Parrish. Posted May 9, 2006. SAMPLE PAGE. CONTENTS. File size 6.7 MB PDF 

Go to the T's for Tebbs. You can download part or all of it.


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