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 Administrator on July 19, 2012 at 7:43pm

I just added some museum links to this page: 

If you all can give me links to other museums with substantial lace collections, I'll try and add them.

What I did was I search each museum's collection for textiles, lace, with photos.  So from the links posted it should be easier to get directly to photos so we can start searching for examples to refer to in our discussions.

Comment by Administrator on July 8, 2012 at 3:36pm

This piece turned up on picasa recently.  I think it is a turn-of-the-century bobbin lace from NW Europe. c. 1890-1920.  Another of those imitations of early Flemish lace.  It has very interesting fillings.  It is different from, but similar to, the piece referred to above in the DISCUSSION "How would you label this?"

Comment by Administrator on June 17, 2012 at 3:37pm

Genoese bobbin lace, accession #   1920.1170

1920.1129 filet lacis + Genoese bobbin lace edging.
The edging is simple enough that I think I could copy it and make a pattern from it.

Comment by John Simms on May 11, 2012 at 7:11pm

Dear Ioli, Devon and Paula. Thank you all very much indeed for your help and advice. I must apologize for confusing embroidery with lace. But you have gone a long way to straighten me out.

Ioli, thank you for the comments about Dresden embroidery; I found several examples and can see your point about the different ratio of satin stitchery vs. pulled work. I am amazed that the grapes and small flowers have eyelets - they must be no more than one millimeter in diameter, but I can see how they give the raised appearance to the elements. I understand your comments about pulled and drawn threads and will shortly upload one further photo, better in focus I hope. I have more if you like.

Devon, thank you also. I agree that the Metropolitan example 48.121.2 seems the closest example from the collection they are showing to what I have and thank you for the reference. I checked examples of Appenzell embroidery and several have some of the characteristics of my piece. I will use the Scofield & Zalamea book you referenced, it looks very useful and most interesting. 

Paula, thank you for your reference to Ayrshire embroidery. There are some similarities, clues for me to use in my search for answers. And, Ioli, you are correct in reinforcing for me the nature of the hunt for answers. Devon has, indeed, pointed out the direction and given me some great help, as have you all.

At least, I know now to follow the embroidery trail and not get seduced by the glories of very finely wrought lace work, and I have learned a great deal besides. I continue to be amazed that such detailed and intricate work can be made by human fingers in any reasonable time frame, and it is this that compels me to find out more.

Thank you again for your help and I will keep my eye on your excellent site to see if anyone else has further ideas. Meanwhile, I will continue my detective hunt. What would we do without the internet? John.

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.


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