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: 110
Latest Activity: Oct 19

Examples + Resources


Bobbin lace    antiquebobbinlace     bobbinlace3     Needle lace    needlelace2 

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

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

Help 4 Replies

Hi, Could you identify this lace for me?Continue

Started by Lanni Liana. Last reply by Administrator Aug 3.

Lace Identificatio 1 Reply

Hi everyone, i have a lovely 1920s dress made from the prettiest lace, i assume its machine made, but can someone tell me what tis style of lace is called? Thanks in advance !Continue

Started by Emily Bernardini. Last reply by Administrator Jul 4.

Indexes for 'A Lace Guide for Makers and Collectors' by Gertrude Whiting 9 Replies

Someone of IOLI told me about 'A Lace Guide for Makers and Collectors' by Gertrude Whiting (1920). I can't find who, but thank you! This book has a LARGE number of grounds, with names, photo and…Continue

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Jo Jul 2.

Help with Needlepoint Lace ID 16 Replies

HI All,I have recently acquired this wonderful lace collar which I believe is a needle or needlepoint lace. Even though I have purchased 3 books on lace ID(which I love by the way)  I often become…Continue

Started by Jill Schwartz. Last reply by Administrator Feb 15.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Megan Stimpson on August 14, 2017 at 8:58pm

Abandoned project might make sense. There are quite a few loose threads, and the whole piece has a rather rough look to it, ie padding cords sticking out, the edging being roughly finished. The day after I brought it home, I was working on something of my own, and I wondered why so many loose ends... That was what made me think it was a practice piece.

Comment by Administrator on August 14, 2017 at 7:33pm

A very interesting piece. But I don't know enough about Irish crochet to pinpoint its origin or date. But it seems to me that there are relatively few different motifs. So rather than a sampler, i suspect it was an abandoned project, or a segment made in excess of what was actually needed.

Comment by Megan Stimpson on August 14, 2017 at 6:36pm

Hello, I hose to post my find in this group, because I am hoping to gain some insight on the age, and if possible the probable county of origin on the person who brought this art to America. What I have is an unfinished scrap of Irish Crochet lace that I found at an antique shop over the weekend. The thread does not resemble any cotton I have ever worked with. It is rather stiff and firm, but has no scent or indication of starch. The work is tiny, the color is bright white and the condition is excellent. Because this piece does not appear to be cut from a finished garment, and because there are a lot of threads left loose, my theory is that it was a sampler made by someone learning the art, from her Irish mother or grandmother. Any further insights would be truly treasured. Thank you in advance.

The first photo is for scale. The hook in the photo is my 1.5mm Hobby Lobby Ergonomic hook

This photo is of the reverse side view (I turned the lace over to photograph the "back"

This is a detail photo of one of the motif elements and Clones Knots

Comment by Paula Harten on July 25, 2017 at 4:25pm

We might want to look at an example of mezzo punto in Heather Toomer's "Antique Lace", page 39, Plate 22 and mentioned under History on pg. 100.  

I have to admit I find Barbara's piece of lace to be very regular and not quite the style of mezzo punto which appears to have had fillings of buttonhole stitches as well.

So I started learning again.  I searched the names Ikle and Isadore Grauer and came upon the Textile Museum in St. Gallen, Switzerland.  They are working on a major inventory project.  Collections from L. Ikle and I. Grauer  are included and "...served as a template for the machine embroidery marketed as “St.Gallen lace” which , "...partially consisted of faithful copies of historic lace produced on shuttle embroidery machines."

Further information about the hand embroidery machines in St. Gallen speak of the women replacing threads for the men who ran the machines and "...the threads in a hand-embroidery machine are only about one meter long, and it has hundreds of needles".  Now I wonder if these are the same machines or two different ones.  

I guess it is quite possible that Devon has found its source.  Maybe imitation Mezzo Punto.

Comment by Devon Thein on July 24, 2017 at 4:23pm
The hand embroidery machine duplicated hand embroidery in that it had only one needle and thread, rather than the two thread, needle and shuttle set up like our sewing machines. I assume you had to embroider on fabric and dissolve in order to make lace as in the Schiffli machines. There is a description of the machine on p. 14 of this book. Ikle is more often associated with the Schiffli machines. I don't know if he had the hand embroidery machines even though he mentions them in his book.
Comment by Sally Olsen on July 24, 2017 at 1:19pm

Devon -

Is the Ikle lace made on a background which is later dissolved away with a chemical?

- Sally

Comment by Devon Thein on July 24, 2017 at 12:49pm

I believe it is the hand embroidery machine. Here is an image from Ikle, La Broderie Mechanique showing the machine embroidery work of Isadore Grauer of Degersheim, and a close up of the photo. Grauer made very good machine imitations of Venetian Gros Point, especially.

Comment by Administrator on July 23, 2017 at 7:28pm

Paula, I have no idea.  there was a Venetian lace called Coraline, but I have never seen any close up. So I can't say if this is Coraline. Does anybody know anything about that kind?

Comment by Paula Harten on July 23, 2017 at 7:00pm

I agree with Loretta and Lorelei.  I had not thought about the needle weaving in reticella, as I have really no experience with it.  So, yes I would call it needle lace.  Now the question is, how old is it?


Comment by Administrator on July 23, 2017 at 5:26pm

I agree with Loretta. I do think it is handmade needlelace, but very unusual. The long branches appear to be a base of 5 vertical threads, woven under and over, row after row. A similar idea occurs in needle lace reticella, where the lace maker tries to suggest vertical and horizontal lines of woven cloth underneath (when there is no woven cloth at all.) So instead of the usual 4 base threads, this uses 5. I did see some elements that look like very short cucumber tallies, but it is possible to do that with a needle, instead of bobbins.

Red is 5 thread base, woven.    Green is bit which look like tallies.  Blue is a bar wrapped instead of buttonholed.



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