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: 127
Latest Activity: Apr 1

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:

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)   




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

Chinese? 6 Replies

A friend asked for help identifying the techniques in a textile.  Here are her words and pictures.…Continue

Tags: embroidery, tulle, knots, buttons, beads

Started by Sally Olsen. Last reply by Sally Olsen Feb 22.

Fun piece of bobbin lace 8 Replies

I recently got an inquiry through our museum email regarding this piece of lace.  The woman, who gave permission for me to share these photos, got this piece 40-50 years ago as an "old" piece  of…Continue

Started by Kimberly Davis. Last reply by Paula Harten Feb 5.

17th, 18th C lace and others for ID and comments 4 Replies

Hello, I acquired some lovely lace pieces today which I believe are:17th C Point de Venise, 8 cms deep. And 3 examples of 18th C Argentan / Alencon? These are all about 5 cms deep. Then an…Continue

Started by deborah greenfield. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 7, 2018.

Identification Help 2 Replies

Hello I am currently in school for Museum Studies and one of our projects is a textile treatment. I have been having a hard time identifying the type of lace of my textile and was hoping someone…Continue

Started by Sarah. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 7, 2018.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 25, 2018 at 5:33pm

I am going through my books on Bucks point (I don't have any on Bayeux), looking for laces with honeycomb ground. Honeycomb used as a filling doesn't count. Only honeycomb used as the ground counts. Results. Numbers are page #s


honeycomb 132,76,        kat stitch 78


honeycomb 49 ,24              kat st 83,31


honeycomb  10,16,39,50,                      kat st 66,96


honeycomb 32                         kat st 38,20



Your suggestion that both pieces might be Swedish, well, that is quite possible. Your 8.47.9 in particular seems relevant.

Comment by Devon Thein on October 25, 2018 at 3:02pm

In desperation, I just went through all 905 pieces of bobbin lace in the Met collection claiming to be 1800-1900 looking for pieces with a honeycomb background. Interestingly, there were some that were Swedish, donated by the Society for Women's Work, Stockholm, 1908. The only other one I could find with a honeycomb background was from Northhamptonshire. I am attaching the photos. The one with accession number 08.180.36 is the Northhamptonshire one. 

A honeycomb background is actually quite unusual. Thoughts?

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 21, 2018 at 5:47pm

I meant to say also, I think you are right that your piece and mine are very similar. I also think you are right to suggest point ground, 19th c. Point ground laces don’t all have point ground. Some do use honeycomb ground throughout, and some use kat stitch (Paris ground).

The motif shapes suggest a date somewhat later than 1800, which should have (for continental laces) characteristics of what I have been calling “the Napoleonic period”. (My ignorance of art history and its periods is showing here.)

And I think your point about one pair entering at each pin, instead of 2 as we would find in continental laces, is very much to the point. However I would avoid the terms Brussels or Point d'Angleterre for your piece because those terms usually refer to part laces of the 18th c, not straight laces.

Comment by Devon Thein on October 21, 2018 at 10:53am

Dear Lorelei,

I think that your piece is very similar to my piece. I also think that your piece has a honeycomb ground, like mine, not a Point de Paris ground. The honeycomb ground seems to be most frequently observed with point lace. Is there any reason why this would not be considered a point lace? The way the pairs go in and out is not a typical Flemish way which usually involves taking in two pairs and dropping the weaver.

Regarding Flemish part lace, Santina Levey likes the term Brussels bobbin lace, but I find myself gravitating to the term Point d'Angleterre simply because it is applied to  a very specific era and style and is so mysterious as to its origins that it is memorable.

Yes, it is very hard to come up with any real rules about naming things when they seem to depart from certain established memes. Unfortunately, it is often the case.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 19, 2018 at 6:15pm

Your piece is interesting. It is faintly reminiscent of a lace from my own collection.

I can't quite see what the ground is on your place. Definitely not cinq trous (5 hole), which is another name for old Flanders ground, which has the same sequence of movements as rose ground. Your piece has either Paris ground or honeycomb ground. My example above has Paris ground. Both your piece and mine do not have the feel of something as old as 1800.

From a French language site, called fond mariage

same website, fond a la rose

Possibly Gon Homburg's suggestion of "Flemish" might be appropriate. But I have heard that name applied to part laces of that era. So how do we distinguish those, the part from the straight.

But the real problem is what to call 18th c straight laces which have a regular ground and gimp. The names we use for laces from 1900 reflect different grounds, as well as different ways of bringing new threads into a cloth motif. For laces of that more recent age the differences in grounds are paramount in our thinking: Mechlin, Flanders, Paris lace, Binche, Valenciennes.

But as I understand Santina Levey that area of the world was producing laces using any of those grounds indiscriminantly, and calls them all Mechlin, using that as a general geographical descriptor. So if the date of your piece really is 1800 Mechlin might be the appropriate name.  But the shape of the motifs does not go along with the designs of laces from that era. At that remove of history our sense of style has drastically changed. Those motifs are much more like late 19th c or early 20th than 1800. Here are some links for comparison.

Comment by Devon Thein on October 19, 2018 at 11:34am

What is this? The information says it is Flemish, Southern Netherlands, ca. 1800. Fond de mariage; outlined with heavy thread suggestive of Mechlin; It is 2 1/2 inches wide.

I don't know that characterizing it as Mechlin is correct. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

Comment by deborah greenfield on October 17, 2018 at 5:21am
Thanks as always for your comments. The tape lace one has some places where two layers of lace cross over but others, like the cross and sort of leaf shaped pieces have no joins at all.
Comment by Lagartija on October 16, 2018 at 8:51pm
I agree with Lorelei, that second piece does not look handmade. It certainly isn't needlelace. It looks machine made to me.
Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 16, 2018 at 6:41pm

I have serious doubts that the 2nd piece is handmade at all.

The red rings show areas where there are picots on the edge bars. I see rabbit ears, 2 loops for each picot. Hand made needle lace would not have rabbit ears. Each picot would be a single loop of thread.

The green rings isolate areas that appear to be imitations of bobbin lace tallies. They are not really clear. They look fuzzy. Something isn't right here.

I would like to hear from our other members about these laces.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 16, 2018 at 6:31pm

I am not an expert on needle lace, to the degree that I can claim for bobbin lace. The first piece you posted is interesting, but I have questions.

My first question involves the element that looks like a tape. The red rings show areas where tapes abut each other. If, looking closely at the actual object, if you can see 2 layers at those crossover points I would questions whether this might be a tape lace, made with flat tapes sewn together and held to each other with a needle ground.  If those tape shaped elements do not have crossovers or 2 layers, then the "tapes" are probably needle made.

The green rings are definitely buttonholed bars -- true needle lace.

The blue edge motifs are also definetely needle made.

But I would not presume to specify a name, date or geographical origin. I don't have all that clear in my own head yet, for needle laces.


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