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 Devon Thein on May 1, 2012 at 5:24pm

Yes, those are very interesting pieces. Is there any chance that you could provide photos or links? That way we could all brain storm!

Comment by Helen Bell on May 1, 2012 at 4:58pm

Re Devon's lovely cap and lappets:  Devon and I have brainstormed on her lace, and from the research I've done, the consensus seems to be that it's not English.  I've seen those double half stitch trails in some photographs of some of the Lester florals, so it's an uncommon element (the cap/lappets on the cover of Ann Buck's book on Lester has double half stitch scrolls). But Devon's piece just doesn't quite speak English to me.  I think the people I've asked, feel, like me, that it's possibly French made.  I suspect, Devon, that it might be some kind of commemorative piece.  I know I suggested St Paul's (London), and you've also had Sacre Couer suggested. 

Regarding the other mytery piece (IOLI suggested from 18 hours ago):  I've been emailing today with an English friend, and she's very knowledgeable when it comes to Beds and British laces, and she kind of agrees with me that it's possibly Danish.  It's very reminiscent of a piece in the V&A that she's trying to get re-labelled to show it's Danish, and I've seen photos of another piece that's the V&A's 'sister' piece, and one at CSU in their collection that is a cousin (all from the same 'stable' as it were).  They have double half stitch trails (by double half stitch I mean CTCT).

Comment by Paula Harten on May 1, 2012 at 4:06pm

I agree that this looks a lot like Beds, even the shape of the collar is like those in B. Underwood's book, but the one element that jumps out at me is the trails done in whole stitch.  I don't know if there are examples of Beds with that.  Interestingly, there are also a lot of whole stitch ground areas in Devon's unknown piece.

Comment by Devon Thein on May 1, 2012 at 3:21pm

Whatever this is, I may have another piece like it, this lace of uncertain origin.Helen and I have discussed it in the past and I don't think we formed any conclusion. The petals are tapered, not flat like the wheat ears of Bedfordshire, which seems to be significant.

Some people think that the building is St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, suggesting that it is a tourist item for mid-19th century tourists, possibly also suggesting an Italian origin, although there is no rule that tourist items actuallly have to be made anywhere near where they are sold.

Comment by Helen Bell on May 1, 2012 at 10:28am

Pretty piece.  I've seen some pieces that are reminiscent of that piece, and they would appear to be Danish.  It's got the Beds looking elements, but I'd hedge a guess that it's Danish.  It just makes me immediately think of the other pieces I've seen.


Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 30, 2012 at 10:30pm

Is this Bedfordshire, Danish, or possibly Swedish? 

It is from the Museo de Arenys.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on February 1, 2012 at 5:21pm

While searching for something else, I came across this page with some photos of antique bobbin and needle laces:

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on February 1, 2012 at 4:06pm


This is where Tebbs is really useful.  She uses all these deceitful names for the laces she describes how to make.  I haven't got it all straight in my head yet because the verbal descriptions are like untangling the tower of babel. 

In practical terms there are several varieties of part laces from the late 19th to early 20th century, that I've seen, that don't fit into the Brussels-Duchesse-Bruges Bloomwork continuum.

There is a kind of coarse Duchesse type lace, in terms of how the motifs are worked and their shapes, that I have several examples of on my website.  See  #179   178   390   98   209    208   177 and possibly 123.   I have a few of these in my collection.  They are typical Duchesse in technique, but the scale is larger, worked perhaps in 100/2 linen (most good duchesse is considerably finer).  Yo Pauwels, who taught at Kantcentrum in the 1980s, was in Chicago to give us a workshop and stayed at my house.  I asked her what she thought they were.  She said "oh, we call that fine bloomwork"  fijn bloomwerk.  But it is not as coarse as Bruges bloomwork usually is and its technique is like simple duchesse, not Bruges bloomwork.

Then there is the Vieux Flandres you mention.  Please look at the same page in my website:   

#55   174   175   349  

But 338    166   165 are different again.  They have the coarse duchesse bobbin lace motifs, worked more openly (almost cheesecloth-like), but the odd thing is the handmade needle lace ground.

I cannot keep it straight in my head which of these is what Tebbs called "vieux flandres".  She also has other names.  I don't know which label goes with which piece.  But these are examples I've seen and handled.  I've always wondered what to call each of these types and exactly where they may have been made.  Tebbs probably has the answer, but I haven't worked it out yet.

Comment by Patty Dowden on February 1, 2012 at 1:47pm

I had an identification adventure at the Lace Museum several years ago.  A woman came in with some lace from a deceased relative that was not quite finished.  She also had a piece that needed to be repaired.

I showed her how to sew in the ends on the unfinished piece and she picked it up quite easily.  

The piece that needed a bit of repair was a puzzle to me as far as what kind of lie it was.  From it's condition, it seemed fairly old (1900 or so), and the first impression was Duchesse, but it was was TOO BIG.  The thread was too big, the parts were too big; it seemed a terrible quandary.  I couldn't tell her what it was.

Later I figured out that is was Vieux Flandre, a horror foisted off by the lace manufacturers with a fancy name implying great age.  What a shock!  While the woman was there, I kept running through the checklist in my head for Duchesse and saying yes to elements, grounds, pattern, but always came back to the sheer size of it.  

I am curious to know what other knowledgeable people know about Vieux Flandre. 

Comment by Beth Schoenberg on February 1, 2012 at 12:07am

What a great project.  Well done!

Have you shown the curator(s) at the museum the finished pieces?  I'll bet they'd love to see how the "fresh new" lace must have looked.  If they have seen your work, and/or your Bulletin article, what did they say?


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