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: 135
Latest Activity: 12 hours ago

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

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.

Lacemaking history 5 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 Elliott Sep 17, 2019.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Devon Thein 12 hours ago

Another question for Laurie. Is there anyway you can tell by looking at the mesh whether it was made with the thread passed across the pattern as in Burano?

Comment by Devon Thein 12 hours ago

Thank you Laurie. I have seen people in Burano making needle lace and I think it is as you describe. At the time I thought it was odd, but I wasn't really processing what I was seeing.
I guess I have done my part to expand the confusion by translating Vieux Flandre to Old Flanders. Yes, it is a catch all term as you say, referring to early Flemish laces before they diverged into distinctly different kinds.
In her book, Guide to Lace and Linens, Kurella calls the lace, the one with Rosaline type flowers, but a needle mesh, Vieux Flandre.
She says: The translation of Vieux Flandre is "Old Flanders". The name appears in Belgian lace shop books but rarely in textbooks. The most likely explanation for the name is that by the nineteenth century, techniques and names had been recycled so many times that merchants were running out of unique names for these combinations. The lace is a unique combination of bobbin and needle lace, and deserves a label. "Belgian Stew" is descriptive, but not glamorous enough.
Then I saw in my book on Liederkerke that they were calling this Oud-Vlaamse, which would be Flemish for Vieux Flandre. I am going to post two pages from Ghislaine Eemans-Moors book where she describes the Vieux Flandre that was made near Aalst and Liederkerke. These are near Zele which is famous for needle lace.
I am intrigued by Punto Milano. I haven't found it in the first three books I have looked at. Do you have a source that you know of? Also, why do you think the floral terminations look Italian, like Cantu?

Comment by Laurie Waters 13 hours ago

The reason the Burano mesh is square looking has to do with the way it is made. This is a pillow-made needlelace, rather than the handheld laces of Alencon and Belgium. In Burano a thread is passed across the pattern and pulled tight. The twisted stitches are made into the row below with the tip of the needle inserted under the straight thread before twisting the thread pulling through. You can then do one or two overcast stitches on this straight base.  It’s exactly the opposite of Alencon where you make the twisted stitch first, then do the overcasting into the top of that row on the return which produces a more hexagonal mesh.  I’ll do an IOLI article on this in the near future, for the moment I’m concentrating the hand-held needlelaces.

Comment by Karisse A. Moore 13 hours ago

Devon maybe the squareness of the ground could be an individual lace makers style or maybe they were having a bad day and their tension was tight? Thanks for the pictures and using ING.

Comment by Devon Thein 17 hours ago

What is it about the mesh of Burano that makes it look more brick like? That is always the descriptor. Also, frequently there is discussion about the fuzziness of the thread. Objectively, it looks to me as though the movements of the thread are the same. Work a row of twisted buttonhole stitches, then whip back. So do the Burano workers tension the whipping back part more strongly? Or are they doing something different, possibly a different order of work than I am envisioning. I am going to post three photos. One is from the Belgian piece that we were positing may have had the mesh put on in Burano, one from Alencon, which is unfortunately very orange because of camera setting problems, and one from Burano that is sort of yellowy looking because of the thread color. 

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator yesterday

Calling it Old Flanders gives it a name, but doesn't tell us anything about where this type of lace was made, or exactly when. There are some similar laces in Tebbs, but without close up photos that would give us more certainty. 

Comment by Laura Sandison yesterday

Great thanks Devon! 

Comment by Devon Thein yesterday

Many thanks to Elizabeth Kurella for identifying this as Vieux Flandre. She describes it in her book. Also, confirmation was found in the Rosaline book by Ghislaine Eemans-Moors. It seems that the Vieux Flandre was made in the same area as Rosaline, especially in Liedekerke, Begium. I also found the lace, identified as Oud-Vlamse Kant, which means the same thing, Old Flemish lace, only in Flemish, in the book Kloskant te Liedekerke by William Cobbaert. Unfortunately the book is entirely in Flemish but there are some very clear photos The photos show the brick like needle ground. I confess that I also thought the brick like needle ground seemed like Burano. In Santina Levey's book, on p. 112, there is an intriguing reference to some pieces made on the Venetian Island of Pellestrina. Referring to Jesurum, "In the early twentieth century the firm also made a version of the Rosaline bobbin lace of Belgium, although the table sets that were made at that time of a mixture of Burano needle lace and Rosaline, are known to have employed lace imported from Belgium." I am attaching a photo from Kloskant te Liedekerke of Oud-Vlaamse. (Everyone agrees that Old Flemish is a misnomer since it was a 19th and 20th century lace.)

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on Friday

I have tried for years to find somebody who can tell me just exactly where and when this combination of methods occurred. I think it perfectly reasonable to date it as near 1900 -- the "revival era". But Belgian? Dutch? French? I have not been able to get any certainty. The lacemaker of the motifs clearly knows Duchesse technique, and possibly had some acquaintace with Rosaline ( the little holes in the cloth parts are more typical of Rosaline than Duchesse. The needle lace ground is a larger scale than one would expect, and that is true of the 3 pieces on my website, as is true also of your piece. I have been wondering if there was some school where this combination was done frequently, but have had absolutely no information. Your piece is just one more intriguing and frustrating example.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on Friday

Devon - I have seen a few examples of laces somewhat like these. I have 3 on my personal website: bobbin part lace with a needle lace ground. Some have rosaline-like motifs, others are more like a coarse type of Duchesse. One characteristic of Rosaline is that it has a winkiepin edge (pin after 2 threads). Your piece has a sewing edge (pin after 4).



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