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: 144
Latest Activity: Jul 17

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

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.

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.

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.

ID request for the black lace on the shoulder 12 Replies

There is an email thread I'm on, someone asked for an ID for the lace in this portrait.…Continue

Started by Mary Mangan. Last reply by Mary Mangan May 4.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on September 20, 2019 at 6:42pm

A question was asked on facebook about how old macrame is. A member found this example of very early macrame, made into an edging.

Comment by Elizabeth Ligeti on July 12, 2019 at 9:14pm

I wish my joins and finishing off was as neat as in these photos you have shown us, Devon!!!   

I have found this a Very interesting discussion, though I have not been able to add anything to it. I have never tried lassen, - but do keep educating me, I love to learn more about lace, and to see the photos of such beautiful pieces.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on July 12, 2019 at 6:45pm

Hiding threads behind a braid is very difficult. I have never been really good at it. Your example is interesting.

Comment by Devon Thein on July 11, 2019 at 6:39pm

On the ever fascinating topic of lassen, I ran across some lassen on Valenciennes where the join is actually a zig-zag, which would require less of an overlap than a diagonal. The joining in the solid areas is disorderly looking compared to what our teachers would probably think. 

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 28, 2019 at 9:11pm

Guipure - joined by bars. Yes that is my understanding too. But it ignores the major structural difference between continuous and part lace.

As I have seen lassen used, it does not usually occur at the corner..  If the lace has gathered corners there still needs to be a join somewhere to attach the end to the beginning.  I do see what you are saying Nancy. With seamed corners there is no need for lassen. But corners worked continuously, or corners gathered might require some kind of join. I suppose we need to look at historic laces from the last half of the 19th century (when these issues came to a head with turned corners), to see what joining methods were used, and how corners were worked. The problem would be to get specificity on the date.

Comment by Devon Thein on June 23, 2019 at 1:57pm

I have had a look at Ann Buck's book and I see what Lorelei means about the same type of flower. I guess it is a rose. The date on one of these rose pieces is 1860-80. It would be interesting to know if there was an international style trend of roses at this time, especially ones that look like this. But, one thing looking at the roses in this book reveals is that the roses on the handkerchief don't resemble them very much. The Roses in the Buck book have details provided by interior gimps surrounding spaces. The roses in the handkerchief are very dense. In fact, they are so dense, I think I can even see little tufts of thread suggesting that threads were put in and taken out in the manner of 19th century Valenciennes to make for a very solid white contrast to the ground. 

Regarding the term guipure, I have always gone on the supposition that it means a lace that has no mesh, thus it is joined by bars.

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on June 22, 2019 at 11:24pm

I think it might help to clarify something: as far as I can see, no one was ever suggesting that corners were joined by lassen. Obviously they are not, they are seamed. The reason flat corners were brought into the discussion is that if there were no longer gathered corners in which to hide a seamed join, then there would be reason to develop the lassen technique, to make the join inconspicuous if the corners were not seamed but worked continuously. One would not expect to see lassen at all in a piece with joined corners--there'd be no need for it.. Determining when worked flat corners in rectangular-grid lace began gives an estimate of when lassen was developed. But I'll repeat again: no one was ever suggesting that lassen was used at the corners--they are obviously seamed, and could hardly be anything else since matching overlap would usually be impossible.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 10:41pm

I want to apologize for tuning into this discussion so very late. I've been dealing with one problem after another since late December. I've been avoiding anything that requires effort, saving my energies for the various disasters.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 10:39pm

Devon's example of Valenciennes de Gand Is exactly the motif shapes I was thinking of when I said the piece was reminiscent of Val.

For older Bedfordshire designs, look at Ann Buck's book on Thomas Lester. That takes Beds back to around 1850. The IOLI library probably has a copy of that book.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 10:35pm

I think Carolina's reference to Leni Matthei is most helpful. There we do see a very similar ground.


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