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: 126
Latest Activity: 13 hours ago

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:

A university based website specializing in the social history attached to lacemaking


 Bobbin lace    antiquebobbinlace     bobbinlace3     Needle lace    needlelace2 

For recognizing Swedish bobbin lace:

Tatting     tatting2   tatting3      

Filet lace    filetlace2    filetlace3   filet lace4    Buratto 

Sol lace   sollace2   sol lace3

Knitted lace    knittedlace2     Crochet lace        Irish crochet lace      IrishCrochet2      


Bobbin tape lace  bobbin tape lace 2   

Mixed tape lace-machinetape      Romanian needlepoint lace  


Embroidery on tulle-needlerun      Embroidery on tulle-tambour        Carrickmacross  



This is what it takes to make a cloth stitch strip with a machine. I don't know which machine this is. ;

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)   




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

17th, 18th C lace and others for ID and comments 4 Replies

Hello, I acquired some lovely lace pieces today which I believe are:17th C Point de Venise, 8 cms deep. And 3 examples of 18th C Argentan / Alencon? These are all about 5 cms deep. Then an…Continue

Started by deborah greenfield. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 7, 2018.

Identification Help 2 Replies

Hello I am currently in school for Museum Studies and one of our projects is a textile treatment. I have been having a hard time identifying the type of lace of my textile and was hoping someone…Continue

Started by Sarah. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 7, 2018.

Lace coasters 4 Replies

A friend of mine bought these "lace coasters" (as they were labeled) at a thrift shop in Phoenix, a set of 10 of them for $5 (all identical).  They came wrapped with a piece of tissue paper with a…Continue

Started by Arlene Cohen. Last reply by Arlene Cohen Dec 2, 2018.

Help identifying this handmade lace 3 Replies

Hi, I’d love to know the method for making this lace!Continue

Started by Rachel Graf. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 2, 2018.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 14, 2013 at 2:18pm

Actually I just noticed something odd about this piece.  It was made without a ring pair.  Here is the sample I made from Mary Niven's book.  I have a piece in my lace collection which also lacks a ring pair.  I don't know how widespread that kind of error is.



Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 14, 2013 at 1:09am

This is a traditional Flanders teaching pattern.  It even has a name: The Shoe.  I have seen several versions of this pattern--the version formerly used at Kantcentrum, and Niven's book.  Kantcentrum's version

Comment by Loretta Holzberger on April 13, 2013 at 11:06pm

Here is a close-up of the cover lace.  It was Nancy Evans who identified it as Binche. I compiled the book, so I am feeling free to post a photo from it here.  there most certainly is a gimp around the design elements and the 5 hole mesh of Flanders rather than the snowflake mesh often used in Binche.

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on April 13, 2013 at 4:24pm

Thanks, Lorelei.  All that is my understanding also, with the one point that I wasn't sure of--the snowball grounds--but now that I think of it, my first piece of Binche, from Guisiana's book, didn't have any snowballs in it...  The photographed piece on the cover, however, looks to me like it has a gimp but no ring pair or internal lace pair. Maybe I'm misinterpreting the photo but that surely looks like a gimp.  I shall wait to see if someone who owns the book will chime in. 

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 13, 2013 at 3:55pm

Nancy:  I don't have the book, so can't address the issue with certainty.  But as I understand it, Flanders uses gimp, but Binche never does.  Snowball grounds are not necessary for a lace to be Binche.  It could be made with Flanders Paris or Valenciennes ground.

But the lack or presence of gimp does make for a small difference in technique between the 2 styles. Flanders uses the gimp to round and smooth out the edges of a motif, but Binche uses a "lace pair" which does the same thing.  (Val also uses the "lace pair".)  The "lace pair" is not the same as the "ring pair".  The ring pair travels outside the pins.  The lace pair travels inside the pins, right up against the clothwork of the motif.

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on April 13, 2013 at 3:14pm

The small spiral-bound book "LACE--A Quick Guide to Identification" has been mentioned in comments recently. I just received my copy and I have a question, especially for those who have a copy of the book (since I think copyright would prevent me from posting a photo of the cover?): the cover has lace on it of a type that I would have called modern Flanders lace (as in Mary Niven's book etc.), but which is identified in this book as Binche.  It doesn't have any snowflake grounds, which I thought were characteristic of Binche. Also there is a gimp around the cloth-stitch areas.  What are people's definitions of Flanders vs. Binche? (In terms of technique, not the place where the lace was made, please.)

Comment by Karla Barraza on April 7, 2013 at 12:36am

Yeah, I saw it and was completely baffled at the same time that I thought it was one of the cooler pieces I'd seen. Thanks!

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 6, 2013 at 2:55pm

Karla: That is a very interesting piece.  It is a modern part lace (or "free" lace, meaning freeform lace).  Some modern lacemaker-designers create their new laces purely in the style of the old laces, such as Honiton or Duchesse, or Bruges Bloomwork.  Some borrow ideas from this, that, and something else.  This one, I think, is that latter.

The petals of the flower appear to be worked as a continuous tape and then stitched down onto the ground so that only the inner edge is attached, making layered petals.  One might call that tape lace.  But I personally have a resistance to calling something tape lace when it requires extra bobbin to be hung in to help shape a motif when it widens.  And those petals clearly needed extra pairs added temporaritly at their widest part.

The ground is a braided/plaited ground, but is also decorated.  Russian tape lace uses a lot of decorative braided grounds, but I don't know if this one is typical for Russian tape lace.  Bruges blookwork also uses some decorative braided grounds. And again, I don't know if this is one of them.  Those picots at the crossings of the braids in the ground are more common in English laces, but this is definitely not English in style.

I would call it "modern part lace" for lack of a better term.

What do others think?  Are there Milanese elements?

Comment by Karla Barraza on April 6, 2013 at 12:53am
Comment by J. Ames on April 4, 2013 at 11:41am

Probably this should move to the conservation group.

The Maltese lace may be creamy in color.  It needs to be washed to rinse out all sizing, starch, and things like tea dye.  It must be supported in water by a soft net envelope basted all around, and with galloping stitches through lace holee, (not threads) so it won't bunch up.  The vinegar-wiped basin should only contain enough water to cover.  Fold in accordian style, so you can move the suds around.  You'll have to change the water almost immediately.  It should sit a while so fibers open and release stains. Lace should be blocked into shape, which can be on a clean kitchen counter, wiped down with white vinegar.  Keep pets away!  Before you mend, you need to know the color.  You need to practice washing on lace you do not care about.  There is a lot more to learn, before you tackle this.  Many precautions to take, including having a second pair of hands at the ready when you roll it out onto towels to blot out water.  Fingers are warm, and you can finger-press with them.  No rings or bracelets that can snag.

In the last 18 years, I have written about conservation/restoration on the free discussion site    Arachnes can use the archives.  Find my full name in the IOLI 2012-13 Handbook, and put that in the archives search box.  Read subject lines for specific problems.  Memos are cautious and take into consideration a world-wide audience (different climates and products).  It is a file of over 1,100 memos.  Will take time.  Learn a lot!

I wash strong silks in alkaline-based Orvus, the soap for linen and cotton.  You cannot easily find other soaps without lanalin, whiteners, and other harmful substances.  We know exactly what is in Orvus (used by museums).  The trick is to be willing to drink the last rinse water.  Final rinses must be distilled water, not tap water.

To mend, use a #26 or finer tapestry needle (blunt point) and do not pierce silk lace threads..  Silk sewing thead is expensive.   You might use 1 or 2 strands of DMC 6-strand cotton floss.  Soft, and will not cut silk the way sewing thread might..  There are many cream-colored dye lots.  You can get a good color match almost everywhere in the world..

Learn more before you undertake this project.  Not possible to condense here. 


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