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: 106
Latest Activity: Jul 10

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

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.

Lace Maps 3 Replies

I thought it might be useful to post a map of part of the lace making world. This google map shows part of modern Belgium. The red balloon i the town of Mechelen/Mechlin/Malines. It is haflway…Continue

Tags: Mechlin, lace history, lace identification

Started by Administrator. Last reply by Administrator Feb 11.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Patty Dowden on February 1, 2012 at 1:47pm

I had an identification adventure at the Lace Museum several years ago.  A woman came in with some lace from a deceased relative that was not quite finished.  She also had a piece that needed to be repaired.

I showed her how to sew in the ends on the unfinished piece and she picked it up quite easily.  

The piece that needed a bit of repair was a puzzle to me as far as what kind of lie it was.  From it's condition, it seemed fairly old (1900 or so), and the first impression was Duchesse, but it was was TOO BIG.  The thread was too big, the parts were too big; it seemed a terrible quandary.  I couldn't tell her what it was.

Later I figured out that is was Vieux Flandre, a horror foisted off by the lace manufacturers with a fancy name implying great age.  What a shock!  While the woman was there, I kept running through the checklist in my head for Duchesse and saying yes to elements, grounds, pattern, but always came back to the sheer size of it.  

I am curious to know what other knowledgeable people know about Vieux Flandre. 

Comment by Beth Schoenberg on February 1, 2012 at 12:07am

What a great project.  Well done!

Have you shown the curator(s) at the museum the finished pieces?  I'll bet they'd love to see how the "fresh new" lace must have looked.  If they have seen your work, and/or your Bulletin article, what did they say?

Comment by Administrator on January 27, 2012 at 4:10pm


Comment by Paula Harten on January 27, 2012 at 3:22pm

Actually the" hole with a cross: is made with 10 prs (white,white,red,white, white on each side) coming in and 10 prs going out.  The first and fifth pairs on each side form the sides of a box.  The center pairs (white and red) are plaited and crossed with a windmill crossing and the fourth pair on each side comes in, cuts off the corner and leaves, making the box appear rounded.   No pins are used at all.  I agree it gives the look of 4 honeycomb rings, but it is really less complicated and there is no gimp.

The "open hole" is more complicated because the five pairs coming from each side start with the first and second pairs from each side switching sides (through each other), then the third, fourth and (red) fifth pairs are brought through the first pairs that are continuing diagonally to the next hole. These incoming pairs are woven into a bundle before the third, fifth and second pairs are dropped off in sequence, thinning the bundles to a single pair on each side to join and form the bottom of the hole.  Working 10 pairs into a honeycomb would not recreate what I see in this detail of the Spiro lace.  

Yes, I found a page with images of Kortelahti's patterns and can see that she had, indeed done something like this, but with only 3 pairs coming from each side. A simple plait  would suffice to keep the first two pairs together and the third pair bounces of the plait in the middle of the sides.  I was hoping that was what I was seeing in the Spiro lace, but it really is not.  

As I said in the article, I am not suggesting that the pre-Columbian lace was the ancestor of our modern lace, but that things were learned, done and lost.

Comment by Administrator on January 27, 2012 at 1:24pm

Those are good close-ups Paula.  The group of 4 looks like the outer holes are like honeycomb rings in point ground, but worked in torchon ground.  The large single hole  look like 8 pin honeycomb rings.  Kortelahti also uses something similar in one of her new grounds.

Comment by Paula Harten on January 27, 2012 at 1:06am

I made a bookmark using the holes.  Are these images close enough? hole with cross and open hole  The colors spoil the design, but do show the progression of the threads.

Comment by Paula Harten on January 26, 2012 at 5:43pm

Now for the Pre-Columbian lace from Spiro, OK.  This image Imaging Spiro lace  shows the whole artifact in its plexiglass case.  Unfortunately, someone had glued the lace to a backing before they were able to preserve many of the artifacts.

The next photo Locating microscope images shows the process I had to go through to organize some of the best images.  It would have been better to set up a grid and be systematic about taking the photos and microscope images.  this lace is in the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman, OK.

I used the Nikon DSLR to get close images of various areas of the lace.  It was not easy to get good images through the plexiglass. This one shows the relationship of all the elements in the lace: the ground, open holes, twined band and holes with a cross.  Note the 5 pairs entering the holes from R and L and two ground pairs passing between the holes.  The ground pairs pass through the twined band.  Note the hole with a cross closest to the band is actually started above the band.

The microscope image here Corner of large hole shows an upper right side of a large hole where five pairs come together and then begin leaving, one at a time, along the side.

I made many versions in my attempt to recreate what I saw in the photos, using a bobbin lace pillow and bobbins.  This is one Recreation of Spiro lace that is not exactly right ( I took a pair out before bringing in all 5 on the right) but it is the way I would have done it if I had been them☺

One last picture for those of you who do not gat the bulletin - Spiro lace recreation in red  The historical textile specialists say the textiles were colorful and red was one of the colors.

This lace is, unarguably, not beautiful, but it is moderately complex.  In any case, it is a piece of history most of us had never seen or heard about.

Comment by Administrator on January 26, 2012 at 5:31pm

You got the link function to work exactly right, Paula.

Comment by Paula Harten on January 26, 2012 at 5:03pm

I think I am doing this right.  This is a photo of the  Chancay  gauze in the museum here in Oregon.  Another photo Chancay bird is a close-up of that piece.

Comment by Administrator on January 26, 2012 at 2:18pm

A question came up on one of my photos about the distinction between Duchesse and Bruges Bloomwork.  So I thought I'd post a link here to that comment.


Translate This Site





Created by Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 7:07pm. Last updated by Administrator Dec 9, 2014.


Created by Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 7:29pm. Last updated by Administrator Sep 2, 2014.

How to Post a Long Article

Created by Administrator Mar 7, 2013 at 4:47pm. Last updated by Administrator Mar 7, 2013.


Created by Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 6:58pm. Last updated by Administrator Dec 20, 2012.

How to embed a video on the IOLI site

Created by Tatman Jan 25, 2012 at 3:26pm. Last updated by Administrator Jan 25, 2012.






Other Events

Laurie Waters has a very substantial EVENTS list on lacenews.   

EU Cookie Directive

© 2017   Created by Administrator.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service