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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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 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.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 10:20pm

48.187.645 is not Honiton, I think. There is nothing about the style which suggests Honiton of the 19th century, and it certainly isn't 20th century. It does appear to be a straight lace (continuous lace) with motif threads moving into that strange ground.

The density of the motifs and their shape are somewhat reminiscent of Valenciennes, but the ground certainly isn't Val ground, or even a distant relative. That ground is very odd.

I don't think it is Beds, because the design, the style, isn't anywhere like any Beds lace I have seen. Beds designs have a graceful, organic feel to them -- not a very specific description. But I really don't think Cluny or Maltese.

I think it is continental on structural and stylistic grounds. But exactly where I don't know. It isn't like any 19th century LePuy lace that I have seen. I would lable it "continental guipure" except it doesn't have a braided ground (plaited ground). It could be France, Germany, Italy ??? Doris Southard used the term "continental guipure" to refer to floral design  straight laces of continental origin (no specific country) with a braided/plaited ground. 

Nancy I appreciate your reference to that page in my website. I haven't given any geographical names to any of those because I simply don't know. I won't make definite statements unless I am reasonably sure.

Regarding the term "guipure", I have also seen it used by central European lace makers to refer to modern lace designs which are pictorial, and which may have both straight lace and part lace structures in them. So I suppose it is a flawed term and we should find something to replace it.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on June 22, 2019 at 10:05pm

06.629. and 1979.311.12

Both are tragic examples of what happens when lace is washed by careless people who don't know how to keep it flat. What a mess they both are.

In the Paris ground lace they sure did overdo the overcasting to join the 2 pieces.

The ground in the Flanders ground piece is very strange.

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.


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