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


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

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on April 3, 2013 at 9:01pm

I think Maltese lace was often made in sections and then stitched together.  I have a photo (close-up) of a collar and that was made on sections, and it is separating in a couple of places.  it appears they just used an overcast or whip stitch to hold the sections together.

The central section is large for a cap, but it certainly looks like a cap and lappets.

Comment by Administrator on April 3, 2013 at 6:10pm

Silk definitely, but I can't advise about silk.  Hopefully others can.  I think the stitch used would be either overcasting or coral knot.  

Comment by Kelly Bargh on April 3, 2013 at 4:49pm

Oh yes I agree entirely Lorelei, when I examined it closely it looks more to have come apart in sections rather than as a frayed hole as such. So it is somewhat stable in that the lace itself is not unravelling, only the section joins. This happily will make it much easier to mend. The joins are impressively well done, they are very hard to detect even with my magnifier. I think you are spot on where you put te red lines as taht is consistently where it goes. The worst of the 'holes' are around the widest portion, with a couple of smaller ones on one of the ends. I would like to source some silk that would be good match for mending it, any suggestions anyone? Or on what might be the best way to approach it. I'm a dab hand with embroidery and fine sewing but as this a lace perhaps a better technique is more appropriate here.

Comment by Administrator on April 3, 2013 at 3:29pm

Helen, Loretta, Jeri:  I've added your comments to the recommended books page, above right.

Comment by Administrator on April 3, 2013 at 2:55pm

I think the holes may be where separate parts detached, rather than frays or broken threads.  I can't be sure, of course.  Red line is possible seam line.

Comment by J. Ames on April 3, 2013 at 2:50pm

The Lace Museum in Sunnyvale CA has this book in their shop: "Lace - Quick Guide to Identification" 40 pages, spiral bound.  That is a pretty good endorsement.

My copy is from Nancy Evans, when she was teaching at an IOLI convention.  $12  She has been a West Coast lace dealer for many years.  She teaches Lace Identification.  Another pretty good endorsement.

Comment by Administrator on April 3, 2013 at 2:46pm

Loretta: thanks for the description.  The book does sound useful.

Kelly: Quite a piece.  I see the holes you refer to --1 by your hand and 2 more near the narrow end.

Karen: You clearly know more about fashion history than I do.  The shape does seem odd for a table runner.  Some sort of head covering does seem more likely. Like a veil to wear to church.

Comment by Karen Thompson on April 3, 2013 at 6:34am

It looks like a fallcap or fanchon from the 1860-1870's It would cover some of the hair with the lappets falling at either side. It is hard to see in the photo, but looks somewhat like Maltese.

Comment by Kelly Bargh on April 3, 2013 at 2:46am

Hi again, I have a picture of the entire lace, well half of it (it is symmetrical), my hand is on the left at the middle of the item. I measured it is 1.7m long.  It does look somewhat lappet like in shape but is as you say quite large for that purpose. It could be a runner but seems a silly shape for that given it's so very narrow at both ends. Any advice very gratefully accepted.


Comment by Loretta Holzberger on April 2, 2013 at 11:42pm

The propose of the book is to help people make a quick identification of the most common types of lace on the market today (antique market that is). There are 40 pages 5½ x 8½ .  Each page has a photo and close up of a handmade piece of lace and if possible also a machine made copy of the type of lace.  Major identifying points are written for each type.  It is broken down into bobbin lace, needle lace, knotted lace, and other.  With only 35 pages devoted to identification and one type on each, this is by no means all inclusive. It does cover the most commonly found types of lace available for purchase today.  It does a good job of helping people identify handmade vs machine made lace.  


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