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: 145
Latest Activity: on Wednesday

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.

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.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 9:58pm

Your Binche piece corners are not lassen, but what I would call seamed. Very expertly seamed, almost invisibly. As to using thread much smaller than the lacemaking thread, it is what I would use. Failing the existence of thread the same color and finer that the lace thread, I would use the lace thread, so it would match, at least. I'm not convinced there was ever a firm rule about it. Also I think the dates you have given for that piece are probably quite accurate, based on the style of the lace design alone. It is not anything like the really old laces with this structure. It is what I would call a better-than-usual quality of design for that period.

The Val lace wasn't joined quite so expertly. But I suppose the openness of the ground makes that impossible.

I haven't a clue when lassen first began to be used to join lace ends together.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 4:54pm

A new site with comparison photos. Looks quite useful.

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on June 20, 2019 at 10:43am

The design looks to me like v early 1900s German, or floral Beds as Cindy suggests. I don't know how far back floral Beds goes and I can't find my copy of the recent book on it. Besides the design, the edges of the cloth stitch argues for one of those. Are there floral Beds without leaves?

Comment by Devon Thein on June 20, 2019 at 9:20am

Looking at the flowers on this piece, it strikes me that they look a lot like flowers on Valenciennes de Gand, although the background mesh is not appropriate. Also, Valencinnes de Gand is a part lace. But, could it be Belgian? Here is  a link to a Valenciennes de Gand piece.

Comment by Cindy Tiger on June 19, 2019 at 1:35am

When I first saw your picture Devon, my immediate thought was floral Beds. This piece looks very similar to the few pieces of that that I’ve seen, especially the ground. The edge treatment is atypical, but much sturdier than a 9-pin edge! And it compliments the design beautifully.

Comment by Carolina de la Guardia on June 19, 2019 at 12:57am

Here the are my thoughts about this piece.

When Nancy mentioned Leni Matthaei, come to my mind the book I have in my shelves LENI MATTHAEI by Inge Mühlensiepen. The book is in German, so I cannot understand the text.

This lady born in Hamburg about 1873,  She did not design a specific type of lace, she used her knowledge on lace to express herself into the avant garde movement in 1920’s. 

The piece we are talking here is very special in the  sense that cannot be categorized in any specific style of lace. For me one of the things that call my attention is the bars ground. These are not plaited bars, they are linen stitch bars.

In the picture uses this characteristic which is the same as in the hanky.

 She  made this so modern work in her years of maturity, designing more traditional draws in her youth, probably according with design fashion.

Comment by Carolina de la Guardia on June 19, 2019 at 12:33am
Comment by Nancy A. Neff on June 18, 2019 at 7:45pm
Comment by Nancy A. Neff on June 18, 2019 at 7:37pm

I shouldn't have said it might be Le Puy -- there are no leaves, and leaves are a major design elements in the Cluny/Beds/Maltese family. I don't know a name for the German lace I remember. One of them is this one:, and another is:

I've checked but I don't own either of them so I can't look inside to see if I'm remembering correctly, but the lace on the cover of the second one looks like the Cluny/Beds family with those leaves so maybe I'm on the wrong track.

Comment by Devon Thein on June 18, 2019 at 3:44pm

Nancy, could you point me toward these German bobbin lace books? Yes, I think if we decide this is a Cluny/Beds/Maltese lace then we have to start wondering where it was made. Any other thoughts?


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