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.

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Latest Activity: yesterday

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

Not a lace ID: looking for a pillow style 15 Replies

Wandering through Wikipedia again today, I came across this kind of "lace loom" or "lace drum" according to Google translate. The page says "Tambour à dentelle". It wasn't represented on the bobbin…Continue

Started by Mary Mangan. Last reply by Mary Mangan Sep 12, 2021.

Identifying Lace on 1806 Pillowcases 9 Replies

I run a small history museum in Hillsboro, Kansas, and we received a donation of two pillowcases, and I would like to identify the type of lace on them so that we can have better information about…Continue

Started by Steve Fast. Last reply by Steve Fast Jul 17, 2021.

Help identifying old lace 8 Replies

Can anyone help me out? I have inherited lace from my Mother, Aunt, and Grandmother. I don't know how to describe it, other than "lace". My grandparents were from Ireland.I have no children so would…Continue

Started by Mary Schaefer. Last reply by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jul 9, 2021.

Swedish lace history 3 Replies

I happened across an article about a lace artwork event, and it linked to this website with lots of Swedish lace that I wouldn't have found otherwise. There are some cute old lace roller pillows in…Continue

Started by Mary Mangan. Last reply by Mary Mangan Jun 1, 2021.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Sally Olsen yesterday

I found an interesting piece while going through textiles in my aunt's estate.  The edging on this piece caught my eye.  It appears to be knotted needle lace.  Knotted needle lace with drawn thread work.  Here is the detail picture of the edging.  Detail of edging.

Any suggestions for a formal description of this piece?

Comment by Starlynn Marie Burnett on September 26, 2021 at 11:47am

Thanks Cindy!  Ok...interesting!  and it goes along with the 1800's the lace dealer told me as the time period.  I wrote she said Victorian Tuscan, but maybe she said Venetian Tuscan?  I'll look into it more.  This has been fun!  Thanks everyone :)

Comment by Cindy Tiger on September 25, 2021 at 4:22pm

Sorry I am late to the party on this one. Something has been tickling the back of my mind about this one and it took me a while to track it down. The non-cloth parts of the lace look like handmade fake Gros Point to me. In Needlemade Laces by Pat Earnshaw she says in the late 1800s quick Venetian laces were made by weaving or darning the solid parts of the patterns and overcasting cording on the raised parts. No buttonhole stitches were used, and the end result looked like Gros Point from a distance. The square ground stitch in this example looks like the stitches were wrapped. You can see some cording sticking out of the heavily wrapped parts of the design in places. This may be what this is, handmade fake Venetian Point. Earnsahw says it is sometimes known as punto a cordello.

Comment by Starlynn Marie Burnett on September 21, 2021 at 11:14am

Devon, just saw your last question...No, she didn't seem to know a lot now that I've gotten some feedback here.  She said the pink one was "1800's Victorian Tuscan" and the other "spiderwork lace".  She never mentioned machine made or chemical lace in the description. 

Comment by Starlynn Marie Burnett on September 21, 2021 at 11:05am

Wow!  Thank you interesting!  I will look into it.  I think it is fascinating to watch these machines (any lace making machine) as it's hard to wrap my head around how someone figured out how to make a machine that can create lace in the first place.  I appreciate all the information you took time to post!!  Star

Comment by Devon Thein on September 21, 2021 at 6:45am

Just to clarify. I am talking about the piece of lace with the pink fabric when I talk about the Hand Embroidery Machine. The other piece appears to be chemical lace made on the more common Schiffli machine that uses two threads. St Gallen was also a huge center for Schiffli lace. In fact that is what it is really known for. The fact that the Ikle family collected all this historical handmade lace assisted them in devising lace patterns from all eras. So the piece that is not with the pink fabric is clearly supposed to look like reticella from the late 16th or early 17th century. But of course it could easily be made at any time. Did this dealer actually seem as though they knew a lot about machine made lace? 

Comment by Devon Thein on September 21, 2021 at 6:33am

I think this is a case of chemical lace made with the Hand Embroidery Machine. These areas that look like needle weaving are characteristic of that machine. It was one of my most satisfying moments when this summer at the online UnCon 2.0 we arranged for the presenter from the Textilmuseum in St. Gallen, Switzerland to show a demonstration of this remarkable machine. The machine takes a needle through the cloth and then brings the same needle back through the cloth duplicating the actions in hand embroidery. A normal sewing/ embroidery machine has two threads, one on top and one on the bottom. I don’t know how widespread this machine was. Perhaps one could posit an origin for the piece in Switzerland. According to the website at the Textilmuseum the 1890s represented the time when the machine was used the most. Search YouTube for Handstickmaschine im Textilmuseum St Gallen to see this remarkable machine being operated. Starlynn might find it fun to research the St Gallen Textilmuseum and the Swiss machine lace industry as part of learning about her piece. It is really interesting. In fact the Textilmuseum is going to have a lace exhibit in New York at the Bard Graduate Center opening  in Sept 2022. It will include many of the notable pieces of hand made lace collected by the Ikle family to serve as inspiration for machine made lace. Some of the most interesting pieces of historical handmade lace are in this collection. There will also be a part of the exhibit devoted to the machine made lace and it’s use in fashion.

Comment by Starlynn Marie Burnett on September 21, 2021 at 12:06am

Thank you Lorelei, here are photos of the back of the piece.  I appreciate your input


Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on September 14, 2021 at 7:36pm

I think Nancy is correct, but I would need to see the back to be sure. The fact that the pink cloth is still part of the lace shows that this is an embroidered lace, not a free standing lace. Anc chemical lace IS embroidery on synthetic fabric which is supposed to be dissolved leaving the cotton embroidery as the final product. But the very smooth overcasting of some motifs, and the woven rectangles are unusual for chemical lace. That makes me hesitate about whiat this is.. The motif shapes seem to me to fit better with early 20th century than with late 19th c.

Comment by Starlynn Marie Burnett on September 11, 2021 at 10:42pm

No worries Nancy!  I appreciate your reply...thank you:)



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