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: 125
Latest Activity: Dec 11

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

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.

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.

Lace coasters 4 Replies

A friend of mine bought these "lace coasters" (as they were labeled) at a thrift shop in Phoenix, a set of 10 of them for $5 (all identical).  They came wrapped with a piece of tissue paper with a…Continue

Started by Arlene Cohen. Last reply by Arlene Cohen Dec 2.

Help identifying this handmade lace 3 Replies

Hi, I’d love to know the method for making this lace!Continue

Started by Rachel Graf. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 2.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 19, 2018 at 6:15pm

Your piece is interesting. It is faintly reminiscent of a lace from my own collection.

I can't quite see what the ground is on your place. Definitely not cinq trous (5 hole), which is another name for old Flanders ground, which has the same sequence of movements as rose ground. Your piece has either Paris ground or honeycomb ground. My example above has Paris ground. Both your piece and mine do not have the feel of something as old as 1800.

From a French language site, called fond mariage

same website, fond a la rose

Possibly Gon Homburg's suggestion of "Flemish" might be appropriate. But I have heard that name applied to part laces of that era. So how do we distinguish those, the part from the straight.

But the real problem is what to call 18th c straight laces which have a regular ground and gimp. The names we use for laces from 1900 reflect different grounds, as well as different ways of bringing new threads into a cloth motif. For laces of that more recent age the differences in grounds are paramount in our thinking: Mechlin, Flanders, Paris lace, Binche, Valenciennes.

But as I understand Santina Levey that area of the world was producing laces using any of those grounds indiscriminantly, and calls them all Mechlin, using that as a general geographical descriptor. So if the date of your piece really is 1800 Mechlin might be the appropriate name.  But the shape of the motifs does not go along with the designs of laces from that era. At that remove of history our sense of style has drastically changed. Those motifs are much more like late 19th c or early 20th than 1800. Here are some links for comparison.

Comment by Devon Thein on October 19, 2018 at 11:34am

What is this? The information says it is Flemish, Southern Netherlands, ca. 1800. Fond de mariage; outlined with heavy thread suggestive of Mechlin; It is 2 1/2 inches wide.

\uap>I don't know that characterizing it as Mechlin is correct. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

Comment by deborah greenfield on October 17, 2018 at 5:21am
Thanks as always for your comments. The tape lace one has some places where two layers of lace cross over but others, like the cross and sort of leaf shaped pieces have no joins at all.
Comment by Lagartija on October 16, 2018 at 8:51pm
I agree with Lorelei, that second piece does not look handmade. It certainly isn't needlelace. It looks machine made to me.
Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 16, 2018 at 6:41pm

I have serious doubts that the 2nd piece is handmade at all.


\uap>The red rings show areas where there are picots on the edge bars. I see rabbit ears, 2 loops for each picot. Hand made needle lace would not have rabbit ears. Each picot would be a single loop of thread.

\uap>The green rings isolate areas that appear to be imitations of bobbin lace tallies. They are not really clear. They look fuzzy. Something isn't right here.

\uap>I would like to hear from our other members about these laces.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on October 16, 2018 at 6:31pm

I am not an expert on needle lace, to the degree that I can claim for bobbin lace. The first piece you posted is interesting, but I have questions.


\uap>My first question involves the element that looks like a tape. The red rings show areas where tapes abut each other. If, looking closely at the actual object, if you can see 2 layers at those crossover points I would questions whether this might be a tape lace, made with flat tapes sewn together and held to each other with a needle ground.  If those tape shaped elements do not have crossovers or 2 layers, then the "tapes" are probably needle made.

\uap>The green rings are definitely buttonholed bars -- true needle lace.

\uap>The blue edge motifs are also definetely needle made.

\uap>But I would not presume to specify a name, date or geographical origin. I don't have all that clear in my own head yet, for needle laces.

Comment by deborah greenfield on October 16, 2018 at 3:08pm

Here is the other needle lace piece mentioned below...


Comment by deborah greenfield on October 16, 2018 at 3:05pm

Hello, Posting here a couple of antique needle lace pieces from France, one I believe a handmade tape lace with a point de venise border, 8" deep, and the other a rough but sweet piece which has - I think - elements of point de neige, but rather primitive, approx 3.75" deep. Any thoughts? 

Comment by Carolina de la Guardia on June 25, 2018 at 10:24am

Thank you Devon for posting these interesting pieces of Milanese lace.

It is amazing that it seems that some lacemakers have always felt the need to innovate and create new lace possibilities. I suppose this is what leads to evolution.

In my recent visit to United States,  besides being in N.Y. I also stayed for a week in San Francisco and I had the opportunity to visit the Lacis Museum. Talking with Mr. Jules Kliot, one of subjects was that of the origin of bobbin lace. While he argued about the importance of the industrialization of pins in the expansion of bobbin lace, I maintained that the imitation of needlelace with bobbins was the success of bobbin lace, as an easier and quickly way to executate the laces.

By the way, Very interesting the exhibition ‘The fringe shawls’

Comment by Devon Thein on June 25, 2018 at 9:14am

Nancy- All three of them are all bobbin lace, with the exception of a mend on one of them. I posted the second one because Carolina had commented that she had not seen Milanese with a coarse edge thread before. It seems to me that there was a conscious attempt in these three pieces to make Milanese that looked like Mezzo Punto. I am posting a photo of an actual piece of Mezzo Punto here. They frequently stitched around the edge of the premade tape to make it look raised. 


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