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: 123
Latest Activity: on Tuesday

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 

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

Normandy Lace Identification 5 Replies

Hello:I am trying to determine what exactly this is and am hoping for assistance.What I know is that the center pieces were from a wedding dress, date unknown. It was cut into pieces creating a…Continue

Started by Rosemary Houston. Last reply by Rosemary Houston on Tuesday.

Machine, Needle or Bobbin Lace? 30 Replies

This is my first post in this group, something I'd love to find out about what type of lace this is.  It appears to be a design possibly hand woven onto a very fine filet net, or it could possibly be…Continue

Tags: filet net, bird net, hat net, square knotted net, net

Started by Jeanne B. Last reply by Jeanne B Oct 28.

Post removed 5 Replies

Post removedContinue

Started by post removed. Last reply by Georgia Seitz Sep 13.

Bedfordshire? 10 Replies

I'm new to the technical side of the lace world, but a long-time collector from charity and thrift shops. I'm having fun trying to ID and date some of my old finds. I'm wondering if some of you with…Continue

Started by Guinevere. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Aug 27.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Lorelei Halley 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 Lorelei Halley 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 Lorelei Halley 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 Lorelei Halley 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 Lorelei Halley 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 Lorelei Halley 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".


Translate This Site



Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 7:07pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 9, 2014.


Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 7:29pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Sep 2, 2014.

How to Post a Long Article

Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Mar 7, 2013 at 4:47pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Mar 7, 2013.


Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 6:58pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 20, 2012.

How to embed a video on the IOLI site

Created by Tatman Jan 25, 2012 at 3:26pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 25, 2012.






Other Events

Laurie Waters has a very substantial EVENTS list on lacenews.   

EU Cookie Directive

© 2018   Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service