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 Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 29, 2020 at 5:07pm

Karen - I just tested it, and it is there. I think it may only be available to those who have a facebook account.

Comment by Karen Thompson on April 27, 2020 at 6:24pm

The link is not available

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 27, 2020 at 6:08pm

This was posted on facebook. It is crochet masquerading as bobbin lace. I had to save a copy to my hard drive, in order to view it enlarged. It really is crochet.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 25, 2020 at 10:55pm

yes, Maria, very interesting

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 25, 2020 at 10:54pm

I have seen those big holes in Bucks point laces. One of the Bucks authors even has a lesson devoted to them. I'll look it up and report back. I agree that this piece does seem more in keeping with the more complex Tonder that I have seen. I can't begin to describe what elements or designs are definitive. I've only dabbled in point ground laces, never done much with it myself. All I can say is that I prefer the aesthetics of Tonder over Bucks, but I can't figure out what specifically makes me think that.

Comment by Devon Thein on April 25, 2020 at 11:34am

Very interesting information, Maria.

Thank you.


Comment by maria provencher on April 25, 2020 at 10:51am

My understanding is that the early Tonder laces did not have the big holes it is the later laces that do.  The early ones before 1830 or so did not have big holes.  This is covered in several of the history of tonder books specifically I quote Rud in Lacemaking by Diagram page 46 " In 1847 there were still lacemaking manufacturers and approximetly 1500 lace girls, ... for economic reason the lace became more open with big round holes so that they were quicker to make.  The so called Copenhagen lace is of this type.  The name is a term of abuse, A  degrading term." In another book it states the same thing but I canot find that one right now and it also states that what they thought was then end of the Tonder Lace was arctually the thing that helped distinguish and bring it more recognition.  So today Copenhagen  holes are thought of as something nice, then it was not so and many also thought it would help end the industry but what ended the industry was the wars of 1848-51 and later wars.  So the lace which is generally understood as coming from the Lille laces took on its own charactaristic with the Copenhagen holes but much more Tonder Lace was made without the holes. Patterns are well documented in the Nyrop-Larsen book lacemaking by Diagram number one.  Both are in English and Danish.  Number one is dated 1955.

Comment by Devon Thein on April 25, 2020 at 10:03am

I am posting another piece of Tonder lace which I would consider to me more the norm. But, what is it that makes it recognizable as a Tonder lace? My somewhat untutored concept is that it is big holes that scream Tonder. Recalling my instruction by Gunvor Jorgensen she had me do something called a Copenhagen hole. It was great fun and seemed to involve a lot of twists. I have always had difficulty relating it to a diagram because it was more of a muscle memory thing where you were working pairs in cross twist twist one after another in the inside of the hole. Maybe I was even doing it wrong. Looking at this example of Tonder there are big holes, but they are not formed the way I thought they were supposed to be. In fact, there seem to be linen stitches on the inside of the hole. Sometimes, I even see big holes that are really lined with single honeycomb stitches. I realize that in making a big hole, you really have to find something to do with a lot of pairs that would otherwise be in the point ground, so there might be different ways of handling that issue. But, can anyone tell me if I am correct that the big holes are sort of an aesthetic preference for the makers of Tonder lace that other makers of point ground did not use as much? Is there a particular time frame associated with them? Do they have any specific structural requirements?

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on April 24, 2020 at 7:20pm

What are Copenhagen holes? I haven't heard that phrase before. I agree, the design is very odd. I have no clear idea how to distinguish Tonder from Bucks. The largest number of Tonder laces that I have seen are pieces made by Doris Southard from Tonder patterns. They comprise most of the point ground laces on my website. Look for the ones labeled DS.  

I must say that I've seen more weird designs in English books than weird Danish, but I have no certainty about it.

Comment by Devon Thein on April 22, 2020 at 2:13pm

I have encountered this piece of Tonder lace dating from about 1800. I don’t doubt that it is Tonder of this date because it was identified by an expert. However, I have never seen a piece that looked like this. The design is odd. I guess it is based on a flower basket design. Most Tonder lace is very orderly in appearance, but this one is sort of disorderly looking with stems that don’t connect and flowers that seem lop sided. Has anyone ever seen anything comparable to this? What characteristics do you think identify it as Tonder? I have not found any Copenhagen holes in it, although that is by no means a requirement for something to be Tonder. Thoughts?


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