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 Kelly Bargh on April 3, 2013 at 2:46am

Hi again, I have a picture of the entire lace, well half of it (it is symmetrical), my hand is on the left at the middle of the item. I measured it is 1.7m long.  It does look somewhat lappet like in shape but is as you say quite large for that purpose. It could be a runner but seems a silly shape for that given it's so very narrow at both ends. Any advice very gratefully accepted.


Comment by Loretta Holzberger on April 2, 2013 at 11:42pm

The propose of the book is to help people make a quick identification of the most common types of lace on the market today (antique market that is). There are 40 pages 5½ x 8½ .  Each page has a photo and close up of a handmade piece of lace and if possible also a machine made copy of the type of lace.  Major identifying points are written for each type.  It is broken down into bobbin lace, needle lace, knotted lace, and other.  With only 35 pages devoted to identification and one type on each, this is by no means all inclusive. It does cover the most commonly found types of lace available for purchase today.  It does a good job of helping people identify handmade vs machine made lace.  

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 2, 2013 at 10:29pm


Can you tell us more about the contents of the book?  What it aims to do?  How is it useful?

Comment by Loretta Holzberger on April 2, 2013 at 6:59pm

I'm a member of LACE, and I carry the book on my website:  It is $12. plus shipping.  Lacis and other also carry it.  If someone wishes to order it from me, do it now, I'm going on vacation in 2 weeks. 

Comment by Katherine Dunlevey on April 2, 2013 at 6:42pm

Book sounds interesting.  Can you tell me how to order this book from Lace Arts Council?  It looks like they might be an IOLI chapter, but there is no contact information.   I couldn't find anything on the internet.  thanks

Comment by Helen Bell on April 2, 2013 at 5:52pm

There's also a very neat little book that's been published by the Lace Arts Council for Education, called 'Lace:  a quick guide to identification'.  It would tuck into a purse or bag.  For a go-to on the fly book, it looks to be very handy.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 2, 2013 at 4:04pm

Karen and Devon

Thanks for your suggestions.  I'm adding them to the booklist.

Comment by Devon Thein on April 2, 2013 at 3:41pm
I suggest books by Elizabeth Kurella for lace that you might encounter at flea markets and auctions. Heather Toomer's books are good for lace that you might encounter for sale if you are lucky, but more likely in museums. For the hard core, of course, the Santina Levey book, Lace: a History is the best. The Pictorial archive might be more interesting to graphic artists as there are many images, but very little explanation.
Comment by Karen Thompson on April 2, 2013 at 3:17pm


Welcome.   "Pictorial Archive of Lace Designs: 325 Historic Examples (Dover Pictorial Archive." has photos or drawings of (presumably) 325 laces without any explanation as to what they are. So I don't think it is very useful. The prints are not clear enough to study the laces even if you knew what you were looking at. 


Comment by Linda Jenkins on April 2, 2013 at 3:10pm

Thank you! These web pages looks very useful indeed, and I don't find them too basic at all!

I look forward to hearing other book recommendations from other members of the group.




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