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: 138
Latest Activity: May 25

Examples + Resources


Jean Leader's new website, different types 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:

Laces compared:

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) a booklet which purports to distinguish machine from hand made laces. Some of the diagrams of typical machine structural elements are quite good. But too many of the comparison photos do not have enough detail to verify whether they are in fact machine made or hand made. The photos don't all show the individual threads. Still, the booklet is useful for the diagrams and descriptions of the various machine laces.




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

Lacemaking history 6 Replies

Please, does anyone know for sure how lace tokens were used in Great Britain in the 1700s?I have read theories that the tokens were given in lieu of governmental coinage due to a coin shortage, but…Continue

Started by Laurie Elliott. Last reply by Laurie Waters May 13.

Mystery technique 6 Replies

Someone has contacted the New England Lace Group to ask for help identifying the technique used to make a shawl, the fiber used and how best to repair it. The first problem is actually figuring out…Continue

Started by Jill Hawkins. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Feb 10.

History of Lacemaking 3 Replies

A friend has been asked to make a presentation about the history of lacemaking. She asked about reference books for her preparation.  My suggestion is An Early Lace Workbook by Rosemary…Continue

Started by Sally Olsen. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 31.

Identification of two pieces of lace 27 Replies

My sister-in-law bought two pieces of lace while in Bize (southern France). She wants me to identify them. I assumed to start with that they are machine made, but I've looked carefully at them and…Continue

Started by Jo Edkins. Last reply by Jo Edkins Oct 13, 2019.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Kimberly Davis on May 5, 2020 at 4:35pm

Great find!  Was it categorized as bobbin or needle? 

I would love to write about these, unless you have plans to, of course.


Comment by Devon Thein on May 5, 2020 at 4:00pm

Yikes, another one.

Comment by Devon Thein on May 5, 2020 at 3:10pm

Seeing Karen's piece, it struck a dim memory of another piece with a similar structure. I am posting photos here. The final photo shows what I think is a mend where someone has used needle lace stitches around the "talley" to facilitate connection between the pieces.

Comment by Kimberly Davis on May 5, 2020 at 2:47pm

I posted this to Arachne, but thought I should also put it here.

         Have you seen the book, "Gekloeppelte Reticella?"   As the name implies, they are using bobbin lace to imitate Reticella needle lace.  The patterns are nothing like this one, they are very
geometric and imitate Reticella.  The book does, however, use tallies in this exact manner.  As Pierre points out, it has the look of the le Pompe patterns which we always wonder about since cloth stitch tapes were not known at that time.  I suspect this is how the pieces were created, but have never seen any proof.  Unfortunately, this thread looks like revival era thread, so I am not sure how helpful it is.  But, if they were copying an old lace directly, it would make a lot of sense.  I have not yet had time to research this train of study, but it is on my short list.  My suspicion is that if there are extant pieces, they are likely misidentified as needle lace.  
        There is also the overlap that this type of work was done in metal threads, again in German areas.   I have an individual pattern, but would need to lay my hands on it if you are interested.  it is in my large stack of things I am researching, not in a neatly filed place as it should be.   It hits that perhaps exciting/ perhaps annoying but always interesting bridge where passaments done in other technique overlap and possibly evolve into bobbin lace.  
Comment by Karen Thompson on May 5, 2020 at 2:30pm

If you can open and search for TE.L6502C  or  you will find a somewhat similar piece in regard to technique.  I have been fascinated by this piece for years without having any answers to how and why.  I will be following this discussion closely.

Comment by Devon Thein on May 5, 2020 at 11:11am

I have encountered another unusual piece. In this piece a tape that you would think would be more easily rendered in cloth stitch is made in the way of a very long talley. Has anybody seen anything like this? Do you have any information about where it might have been made?

Comment by Cindy Tiger on May 2, 2020 at 10:59pm

I once asked Bobbi Donnelly if there was a way I could determine if an old piece of lace was Tønder or Bucks Point, since many of the elements were very similar. She told me that the best way was to identify the working side of the lace, try and figure out if the lace was made with the footside on the left or right. Historically, Tønder was made with the footside on the left, and Bucks Point on the right. 

The piece I was looking at had tallies and I had to make a bunch of tallies myself and compare them before deciding which direction the work went. One end of each tally was looser, and one was tighter. I can’t remember which was which now (I’ll have to make more tallies!), but I do remember we decided it was a Tønder piece.

Comment by Karen Thompson on May 2, 2020 at 8:19am

Maria's comments below about the Copenhagen holes are accurate.  Other point ground lacemakers can obviously use the same technique, as it is well known at this point.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on May 1, 2020 at 8:27pm

Here are some large holes from various books on Bucks point lace by lace teachers and designers (not historians). I don't know if you are thinking about some specific kind of large hole. But they do occur in Bucks. I don't think they are specific to Tonder.

Comment by Devon Thein on April 30, 2020 at 3:24pm

Here are some photos of the interesting fillings in the second Tonder piece and some grounds from the OIDFA point ground study that resemble them. 


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

© 2020   Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service