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: 121
Latest Activity: Sep 13

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

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.

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.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Devon Thein on January 23, 2012 at 10:34am

The article, which is well-researched shows an image of a Chancay gauze weaving, but deals more with a textile found in Spiro Mound, which is in Oklahoma. The writer recreates, using bobbins, the textile which is preserved in the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. The textile looks like a torchon ground with holes in it and is at an archeaolgical site of the Mississippian culture, which is pre-Columbian.

It seems to me that the Spiro textile has to have been made without a fixed warp. It is unclear to me whether the Chancay gauze is made without a fixed warp. With a term as unclear as "lace", I suppose one cannot become too picky, but personally, I like to leave fixed warp weaving of open work textiles to weavers to gush over because I pity them for making so many textiles that are not lacelike. But that is just my personal eccentricity.

Comment by Beth Schoenberg on January 23, 2012 at 10:04am

Oooh, really fresh material!  Have I stumbled on a trend at the ground floor?   :-)

Yeah, defining lace, that seems to be the problem -- whether to limit or not to limit the inclusion of *any* openwork fabrics, and why and when, etc.   Mmm, fabrics?  Does that mean only openwork panels made with flexible, more-or-less organic fibers?  But then, what about the Lace Fences, which are very clearly lace, but made with heavy steel wire?   Sigh.

I think I like best the definition proposed by (I believe) Rosemary Shepherd -- paraphrasing, I'm sure:  that lace is any fabric where the spaces between the threads are as important as the arrangement of the threads themselves.  That leaves a whole lot of scope for "lace" design and production -- both a blessing and a curse.  Probably real handy for exhibit designers and contest organizers, though.   :-D

Then again, lace in the traditional sense is one of the most absolutely useless textiles ever invented anywhere.  Maybe we should automatically eliminate from the definition any "lace" that actually has a practical function?  Chancay gauze could still be included, since they are only ever found in funerary contexts -- so they're just about as practical as lappets and lace shawls ...

When I first came across Chancay "lace," it was a text description, no pictures, but was described as, more or less, a type of weaving that produced lace.  Well, that sounded close enough to bobbin lace for me, so of course I had to follow this up!   Later on, I came across more technical descriptions that called the fabrics Chancay gauze and never used the word "lace" even once -- but the accompanying photos showed something suspiciously, deliciously lace-y looking.  Actually, many of the photos were on online auction sites, which are notorious nowadays for being unwilling to describe items in much detail at all, for fear of getting it wrong (expensively).  Not surprisingly, the pieces on offer were at the more elaborate end of the intricacy scale;  some Chancay gauzes are really fairly simple.

I certainly will look for this issue of The Bulletin.  If the lace described is *North* American, where was it made?  And does it resemble Chancay gauze in any way?

Comment by Devon Thein on January 23, 2012 at 7:45am

Dear Beth,

There is an article in the Winter 2012 issue of The Bulletin, International Old Lacers, Inc.called Recreating a Pre-Columbian North American Lace by Paula Harten that you might find interesting.

Lace has never been a particularly well defined term. Is it something, no matter what, made with lace technique, or is it a white, openwork textile, regardless of construction technique, that can be employed for the uses that European fashion history has used lace for?  

Comment by Beth Schoenberg on January 23, 2012 at 2:37am

23 January, 2012

OK, here's one for the lace history buffs:  if a lace fabric is woven, and really looks like lace, but not made with bobbins, is it still lace?

Check out (in the near future from this writing) the fragment of coloured net on eBay (this sold a couple of weeks ago), item number 230726189927 .   It sure looks like lace, bird figures and ground and all, but it's considered to be weaving -- and historians aren't sure exactly how it was made.  It's called Chancay gauze;  it's pre-Columbian Peruvian;  and it wasn't made after about 1300 CE (AD).  Most Chancay gauze is geometric in design, but there are plenty of examples of figures incorporated into the designs (my favorites are the cats -- lots of cats).

The best online resource for finding out more seems to be the blog (and website, though that seems to be down at the moment) of a Danish textile artist who spent some time in Peru studying all sorts of textiles, including the gauzes.  One of her blog entries is at:

Another is at:

There's a downloadable article, with an abstract at:

And if you want to see photos of these gauzes, you can look on:   (At this writing, there is at least one panel with an allover-cats design.)  Or just search for Chancay gauze images.

Anyway, they're all very interesting, and LACY, even if we shouldn't include them in the definition.  Or should we?


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