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: Sep 15

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 Administrator on May 11, 2012 at 12:46am

John, whenever you can find time to look at Devon's link if OK.  I think what she is doing is giving you a clue for how to start identifying a piece of needlework or lace.  Go to a respected authority, such as a major museum or highly regarded scholar, look at the illustrations very very carefully and compare workmanship and style to what you have.  Note the date and origin given for the reference photograph.

It is necessary eventually to learn enough about how the various kinds of lace and embroideries are made, so you can recognize by sight some of the techniques being used. 

Comment by John Simms on May 10, 2012 at 9:46pm

I am really grateful for all these detailed thoughts and associated links. I'll respond this weekend when I have a little more time, but I am most appreciative for all that you are doing for this neophyte. John

Comment by Administrator on May 9, 2012 at 11:48pm

24 is pretty close, also.

Comment by Devon Thein on May 9, 2012 at 8:01pm

Vis a vis the  handkerchiefs, did you look at all three pages, 46 handkerchiefs? There were a couple on the latter pages that looked similar, for instance, 24.40.


Comment by Administrator on May 9, 2012 at 6:20pm

As I understand it, most embroiderers call the stitching with tight tension "pulled thread" or "drawn fabric" (I try to avoid this last one).  "Drawn thread" removes threads in one direction.  "Cutwork" means squares or curvilinear areas of cloth cut out and then filled with stitching.

Terminology is a nightmare in every textile craft, but bobbin and needle lace have worse problems than embroidery does.  And the differences in usage between museum curators and actual practitioners is also a hairy problem.  Drives me nuts.

Comment by Devon Thein on May 9, 2012 at 6:06pm

Again, I am not an embroiderer, but I thought that the problem with this area of terminology was that "drawn thread" could mean either a cut and removed thread or a deflected thread, so, I thought the solution was "deflected thread" versus "withdrawn element". I could definitely be wrong about this, and bow to your authority as an embroideress.

Comment by Administrator on May 9, 2012 at 6:05pm

48.121.2 seems to be closest to John's piece, in terms of workmanship and techniques.

Comment by Administrator on May 9, 2012 at 6:00pm

Devon, what you called "deflected thread" is what I meant by "pulled thread"--the term used by embroiderers for holes made by stitching with tight tension.  When threads are actually removed, embroiderers call it "drawn thread".

Comment by Devon Thein on May 9, 2012 at 5:53pm should display the search for embroidered handkerchiefs at the MMA. Let's see if it does.

Comment by Devon Thein on May 9, 2012 at 5:52pm

This is not my area of expertise since it is actually White Work, not lace. But, I think the lattice looking areas are "deflected thread" meaning that embroidery stitches are used to cinch the threads together to form that appearance, but that threads are not actually removed. This is quite common in White Work produced in a variety of places, but some of the best is Appenzell produced in Switerland. There is a chapter about Appenzell in the book 20th Century Linens and Lace, by Scofield and Zalamea that John may like to read as he seeks to document his find.

There are a number of pieces of this kind of work in the Metropolitan Museum which can be searched in the on-line collections, What (textiles) What (embroidery) what (handkerchief) is the search, but I will see if I am able to link in  another message. These seem mostly to be late 19th and early twentieth century and many say they are French in origin.

The possibility always exists, of course, for a third world origin for such labor intensive textiles.


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