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: Jul 4

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

Point ground

This is part of a collar from around 1890-1910. It is made in Sweden. I wonder if someone recognises the pattern or figures in the pattern. It is from Vadstena, but I suspect it is influenced from…Continue

Started by Karin Landtblom Jul 4.

One more from Selma Giöbel

This one is designed by the same woman, Selma Giöbel, that I wrote about in previous discussion.THe same question here, has anyone seen something similar to this? Could it origin from France?//Karin…Continue

Started by Karin Landtblom Jul 4.


This lace is from Sweden and (maybe) designed by Selma Giöbel, however she did import laces from France. My question is if anyone have seen something similar, and in that case if one can trace the…Continue

Started by Karin Landtblom Jul 4.

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.

Comment Wall


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

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


I haven't heard of that particular book, so I can't advise.  There were several pattern books published in the period 1550-1650.  The title makes me think it might possibly be one of those.  They might be useful in dating a piece of lace.  If you find an actual lace similar in design to one of the pattern books, your actual lace may either be that old, or may be a relatively modern copy of an old lace.

In general, to get started learning how to identify lace, we have collected some resources.  I don't know the level of your current knowledge, so please don't be offended if the suggestions I make are too basic.

Look at the 2nd column on this page.  Near the top are icons of the group members.  Just below that group of icons is a section called PAGES.  One page has links to good sites where you can find basic lace identification photos.  There is also a short list of recommended books.  But I think the ONLINE RESOURCES page will give you plenty of information to start with.

Anybody else heard of the book Linda mentioned?

Comment by Linda Jenkins on April 2, 2013 at 1:44pm

Hello, everyone. I'm new to Laceioli, and therefore new to this group. I'm excited to be here!

I don't make lace myself, but have recently become interested in learning about lace. This interest was sparked by my becoming obsessed with Pinterest. I have a Lace board, and was originally intending just to post photos of beautiful laces. But now I'd like to learn about the many different types of lace and how to identify them.

Now for my question: recently asked if I'd be interested in buying this book: "Pictorial Archive of Lace Designs: 325 Historic Examples (Dover Pictorial Archive." (Boy, do they know how to tempt me!) Does anyone have this book? Would it be a good one for me to get as a novice wanting to learn how to identify lace?

And, can anyone suggest other books that might be useful for me?

Thanks in advance, all.


Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on March 21, 2013 at 6:23pm

The size you describe is a little large for lappets  They would have been 30 inches long and about 8 to 10 inches wide.  A table runner?  Other ideas?

Comment by Kelly Bargh on March 21, 2013 at 5:30pm

Thanks so much again. It's about 2m long is 50cm wide at the middle and narrows quickly to about 10cm at the ends. It's pretty much scarf dimensions and shape. It is symmetrical (mirror image on the longtiudinal axis). The only reason why I think it might not be used as neckwear but headwear is only because it symmetrical, in that, it has no obvious collar side and 'dangly' side. It might make more sense to post a picture of it, I'll get on in tonight. Oh yes exactly, it is completely lace, and it doess look more to be sections coming apart rather than an unravelling. Which is why I thought I could attempt to repair it. It is very well joined, it's subtle with no obvious seam line and the main body consists of the same pattern as the edging. I admire the skill of the maker. I thought to get a silk thread (much finer than the one used and in the same colour) and sew it together in a way that does not obviously show. There are 4 'holes' the largest being about 15cm long, and apart from that and a few very minor tiny stains, it's in very good condition. I'll post more pics of these too.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on March 20, 2013 at 11:23pm

What is the overall size of the object.  That is first in figuring out how it was to be used.

Maltese that occurs as a solid lace (with no cloth center, the whole thing being lace) often was made with the edging made as one part, and the center made separately.  Then the 2 parts were sewn together.  If that is the kind of damage you have, fixing it by carefully overcasting the two parts together would be fairly simple.

But if the lace itself is ripped and has broken threads, I would say that would require some knowledge of bobbin lace structure so you can get the parts aligned without doing more damage.

Comment by Kelly Bargh on March 20, 2013 at 6:44pm

Thanks very much Devon and Lorelei, it is wonderful to know about it. The photo is very close up and doesn't do it justice. It's very pretty and the colour is just lovely. It is a strange shape and given the hand I don't think it was likely used as a runner, but I can see no obvious way it was worn, except maybe as a head cover somewhat like a mantilla perhaps. Do you know the ususal purpose of such lace? I can post a picture showing te shape if that helps. Also It has some holes where the lace looks to have come apart. I'd lie to repair (or at leats stabilise it) and was wondering how best to do it. I guess starting the same colour silk would be useful. I embroider andf have endless patience for fine work.....

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on March 20, 2013 at 2:17pm

I agree with Devon that this is the type we call Maltese.  The style originated in the early middle years of the 19th century.  It was usually made in cream colored silk (butter color is a good way of describing it).

I didn't know about the German production imitating Maltese.  But in terms of style and technique, this is pure Maltese, wherever it was made.

Just for general information, I want to clarify something about how I use names.  When I use a lace name, such as Maltese, Cluny, Duchesse, etc., I am thinking of a set of techniques typically used in that form.  There may also be a typical style that goes with the technique.  When I use one of these terms I am not thinking of where it was made, but how.  So if I refer to something as Maltese, I am looking at the techniques used, and the style which requires those techniques.  I am usually not interested in where it was made.  But that is me.

Comment by Devon Thein on March 20, 2013 at 7:43am

It is a bobbin lace. It has the characteristic look of what we consider to be Maltesse lace made of silk. At one time I would have said with confidence that it was made in Malta. But, then I visited Gawthorpe Hall in England  where they had a display that included some of this lace and the information that there had been a thriving industry iin Germany producing lace indistinguishable from Maltese lace.

Comment by Kelly Bargh on March 20, 2013 at 5:00am

Dear all, nice to meet you. I am new to this site and keen to learn more about lace, I have only a small collection but lace is hard to come by and expensive where I live as we have little history (just Victorian and onwards). However, jJust yesterday I was very luckily given a gift of a really lovely piece and would value your opinion on it. Looking at resources I think I might be bobbin and maybe silk or viscose (it has a shine that I don't usually see on cotton). Any help you can give me would be very welcome, many thanks.

Comment by Nan Todd Bolger on February 20, 2013 at 9:34am

Dear Lorelei and Devon,

I want to thank you both so very much for taking the time to give me so much detailed information, all of which I find to be useful and really ,truly fascinating. I have learned a lot more than I ever imagined I'd know about lace identification techniques and I think I will follow up with more reading and looking. So again, thank you both so very much. 

With my kindest regards,


Ps: I would just mention re Devons thoughts on whether the piece was possibly formed of more  than one surely was not as there is no seam and there is a central motif with symmetrical motifs all around.




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