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: 127
Latest Activity: Apr 1

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

Chinese? 6 Replies

A friend asked for help identifying the techniques in a textile.  Here are her words and pictures.…Continue

Tags: embroidery, tulle, knots, buttons, beads

Started by Sally Olsen. Last reply by Sally Olsen Feb 22.

Fun piece of bobbin lace 8 Replies

I recently got an inquiry through our museum email regarding this piece of lace.  The woman, who gave permission for me to share these photos, got this piece 40-50 years ago as an "old" piece  of…Continue

Started by Kimberly Davis. Last reply by Paula Harten Feb 5.

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.

Comment Wall


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

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".

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.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on May 9, 2012 at 3:54pm

John Simms just recently joined our network, and indicated that he wanted help identifying a piece in his collection.  John, I assume P501 is the one you meant.  It is an embroidery which has some lace-like elements, rather than a lace.  The woven cloth is all still here.

I'm not knowledgable about antique embroidery.  This piece does appear to have some pulled thread elements in it.  In 34 the flower centers are eyelets.  In 31 along the left, half of each leaf is pulled thread, possibly a variety of satin stitch.  In the upper right corner that curved line of openwork may also be whipped, with no fabric threads actually removed.  The partial flower center visible in the upper right corner is definitely not pulled thread.  A circle of fabric would have to be cut to make that shape, and then stitches were added to make the filling in the flower center.  In 28 the grapes have eyelets at their tops.  In 26 the flower center above the bird's head is a pulled stitch of some kind.  The 2 flowers below the bird's head would have the cloth center cut out, with stitching added afterwards.

But one problem with the whole piece is that the closeups are out of focus, so I can't see the actual threads.  I could name stitches for you if I could see the threads.

The rest of the embroidery is satin stitch.  But there are some areas with fillings made on counted threads.

But as to where and when this style was popular, I haven't a clue.  It bears some affinity to Dresden work, a very fine, small scale form of pulled thread.  But embroideries properly called Dresden, would be 90% pulled work and only 10% curviliear motifs in satin stitch.  This piece has the ratios the other way: 98% satin stitch 2% pulled stitches.

Anybody else have ideas?

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on May 2, 2012 at 6:11pm

On Devon's piece:  Very interesting.  The ninepin edge is reminiscent of Bedfordshire, but nothing else is.  I would call it continental guipure, except that the dome and 2 spires suggest Byzantine lands and orthodox churches.  (But I am no expert on European churches.)  And the scale is like Bedfordshire. What an interesting collection of elements.


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