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: 119
Latest Activity: on Friday

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

Once Again on Chantilly Hand vs Machine made 5 Replies

Hello, Ages ago we had a discussion on distinguishing handmade vs machinemade Chantilly lace. I found it very helpful but now have a couple of pieces that I'm again not sure about. These 2 lace…Continue

Started by deborah greenfield. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jun 2.

Help to identify old bobbin(?) lace 4 Replies

I inherited this shawl and am a complete beginner in lace knowledge. I appreciate that there are knowledgeable and generous people here to help me identify it. I have pictures of every section, but…Continue

Started by Cindy Brown. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jun 1.

Large banquet cloth 1 Reply

Hopefully somebody has some ideas about this very large banquet cloth - or bedspread?  I have not seen it. These grainy photos are all I have. It looks to me like early 20th century bobbin lace. Do…Continue

Started by Karen Thompson. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Apr 20.

Lace Identification Help 6 11 Replies


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

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Jane Weeks on April 18, 2013 at 8:02pm

Thank-you so much for all your help! I know a lot more about lace now. I really hate to sell so much of Mother's family lace, but it would just be hidden away in a box if I kept it, and none of the next generation is interested. I love everything old – my house was built in 1855)! I retire at the end of this year, and this site has almost made me want to learn to make lace (along with another million projects)!

Thanks again. :)

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 18, 2013 at 7:40pm

It is those twists that puzzle me. That is abnormal, I think.

As to dollar value, I have no idea.  I'm not a collector.  I suggested ebay and lacenews because those sites give an idea of what people think something is worth.  Lace $ value is purely in the eye of the beholder.  I don't buy and sell, so I just don't know.  All I am interested in is how a thing was made.

Comment by Jane Weeks on April 18, 2013 at 7:14pm

As for the trim, the discussion of Spanish Blonde, particularly "the worker pair consists of floss thread, while the passives are the same thin silk of the background net" seems the same as mine, but the stitch isn't the same. The workers are twisted between each pair of passives (I'm learning the lingo, I think!). Does that help?

The ground seems the same as the collar, with the untwisted sides.

Do either of these pieces have any real value in your opinion?

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 18, 2013 at 7:08pm

I would call it 19th c point ground bobbin lace.  I have never heard of linen thread being dyed black, at least not in the 19th c.   Half stitch:

Comment by Jane Weeks on April 18, 2013 at 6:57pm

I did look at your links, over & over! Thanks for the terminology link - I missed that before. What I think I see on my collar is that the "vertical" stitches joining the hexagons horizontally seem to not be twisted (is that a half-stitch?), whereas the tops & bottoms of the hexagons are twisted. The motif fillings are very open with picots; I don't see anything like it on any of the links or other pages I've looked at. Also, I never thought of it before: could the thread be linen?

So, in order to sell this piece, do I simply call it 19th century Point Ground Lace...or Point Ground Bobbin Lace...or Bucks Point Ground Bobbin Lace?

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 18, 2013 at 4:50pm

Jane: in both of my comments below, click on the red words.  These are links to photographs of the ground and of laces that you can compare to yours.  If terms like "gimp" and "headside" draw a blank, look at 

As to distinguishing kinds of point ground:  virtually every lace making nation on earth, in thee 19th c, made some form of point ground.  There are slight stylistic differences, and very slight differences in technique.   But I'm not experienced enough to judge national origin reliably from style alone, or by these slight technical differences.

Certain of the point ground laces use markedly different techniques, which are significant and recognizable.

Blonde used a thick thread as the weaver in the dense parts, or 2 thicker threads, and worked them like my diagram in this weave below.  Usually, but not always cream silk.

Chantilly was usually, but not always, black silk.  The motifs are worked in half stitch.

Comment by Jane Weeks on April 18, 2013 at 2:06pm

I'm really feeling my ignorance now!

I'm very glad to hear that both pieces are handmade. I just looked up "point ground" and I'm even more confused. First I thought that my pieces are probably Bucks point ground, the simplest one with the threads twisted ( Then I looked at "Lace of the Month: Bucks" on LaceNews & see that's it's not just the ground that counts!

The collar thread definitely feels like cotton, not silk, although it's finer than the trim. On the trim, it looks like there could have originally been picots on the loops (I'm guessing that the design is the headside?) I don't see lots of damage other than that, which probably means I don't know what it's supposed to look like. ;-)

I see that there are a lot of point ground laces. Is there a big difference in age/value between them?

As far as age is concerned, this was not my mother's. She was born in 1919 & it had to have been her mother's or an aunt from that generation, so pre-1900 I would think.

I in awe of you who can look at the myriad different laces & tell from the subtlest things what they are, who made them, and when...baffles my poor, wee mind!

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 18, 2013 at 12:11pm

The black collar.  I think it is also handmade, point ground lace.  On this one, too, I can see that the gimp passes through every single ground pair as it moves around.  When I looked at the photo of the whole collar, I thought "machine made".  But I don't think so now. The collar is definitely not Beds-Maltese.  That is a braid based lace.  Your collar is point ground.  My understanding is that 19th c black laces were made with black silk.  But I don't know how often (or if ever) black cotton was used.  I certainly can't tell from the photo.

Maltese posted by Kelly Bargh on March 19 2013.

Top half of this sample is point ground.  Bucks1    Bucks2

What do others think?

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 18, 2013 at 12:04pm

The black trim is handmade, I think, and it is point ground lace.  But what country or region I won't even guess.  Why I think so:

1. I saved it to my computer, rotated it so I could look at it from the same direction as the lace maker, and enlarged it to 200%.  The ground is point ground.  The thread is brownish, but I can see it clearly moving from a dense area.

2. The gimp passes through every pair.  (Not a case of gimp being run in afterward with a needle.)  Lots of damage on the headside.  

If there were headside picots (there should have been) they have all been frayed to disintegration.

But there still is something odd about the dense areas.  The passives are too prominent relative to the weaver.  See the samples 

point ground is top half              sample 1       sample 2    sample 3 

This lace was posted February 19 of this year by Nan Bolger.  It is machine made.

A discussion of Spanish blonde, where the dense parts in your lace may have been made as in your piece.  This weave might produce that effect.

Comment by Jane Weeks on April 18, 2013 at 11:48am

Sorry, the back of the trim pic is closer.


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