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: 141
Latest Activity: May 4

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

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.

Piece of old lace 7 Replies

I posted this somewhere else, because I didn't know this group existed. Here 'tis: An old piece of unknown provenance. Needlelace. That's all I know. I do not remember where I got it except that I…Continue

Started by Claudia Crowley. Last reply by Nancy A. Neff Apr 16.

Old Dresser Scarf? 7 Replies

My Aunt Ida who is now 100 gave me what was probably once used as a dresser scarf.  She does not know anything about it other than it was amoung old family items.  The linen is hemmed to about 19.5"…Continue

Started by Sally Olsen. Last reply by Trinity Apr 4.

Bobbin lace in Saxony? 2 Replies

I have a kind of holiday-related lace question.When I was putting up my…Continue

Started by Mary Mangan. Last reply by Mary Mangan Dec 14, 2020.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Devon Thein on June 16, 2019 at 5:59pm

Found some lassen. The one with cinq trous ground is 06.629. It says it is circa 1800, but I don't know that I think that is correct. The other one, with Kat stitch 1979.311.12 is supposedly 19th century, joined lappets. Of course they were probably joined at a different time than they were made, since it appears that they are altered into a different style, possibly a tie? What do you think of the thread size?

Comment by Devon Thein on June 16, 2019 at 5:54pm

At Nancy's request here is Princess Alice handkerchief 63.196.17 corners.

Comment by Nancy A. Neff on June 16, 2019 at 5:41pm

This is an interesting question and discussion that I'm following here and on Arachne with a great deal of interest -- to the point of taking notes. So I have a request -- could everyone (maybe in all posts, not just this discussion) give the owner and, if one exists, the accession number of the piece of lace pictured. The number of the Binche below is visible in one of the photos and I happen to recognize the first two parts of the number as belonging to an acquisition by the Met. I'm guessing the Val is also one of the Met's, but source and identification would be much appreciated!

Comment by Devon Thein on June 16, 2019 at 5:17pm

More joins. Here is a Valenciennes joined in the corner, not lassen. 88.1.62 is the accession number (added.) 

Comment by Devon Thein on June 16, 2019 at 4:38pm

There is a technique called "lassen" which is used to join Flemish laces.  A discussion on a different forum relates to finding when this technique was used and whether the thread used for "lassen" could actually be 6 times narrower than the lace thread, assuming that the Flemish laces were made with the "finest" thread. So, we are looking around for historical examples of "lassen" attempting to set a time frame for it.  This is a handkerchief dated 1888 to 1902 (based on the owner's monogram). It is joined in each corner, and not using "lassen". In fact, I think each corner is differently done. 

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on January 19, 2019 at 8:03pm

Yes, now I see it.

Comment by Devon Thein on January 19, 2019 at 4:54pm

Dear Lorelei,

I think that you are looking at a piece of machine made mesh that was patched into the piece. Here is a photo where the machine made mesh is outlined in red, the handmade in green and in between you can see that they were overlapped. 

Yes, I think you are correct that when the motifs were small they applied them, because it was too much trouble to sew them in, whereas with larger motifs it might have been more time efficient to sew them in. . It is quite likely that both techniques are to be found in the same piece in some instances. 

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on January 19, 2019 at 3:58pm

The mesh on your 3rd example appears to be made like this:

It is a mesh made with 2 threads instead of the usual 4. 

From a practical standpoint whether the motifs have droschel ground attached to their edges, or whether the ground covers the entire back of the motifs (applique) would depend on the relative size of the motifs. If the motifs are large, then hooking the droschel ground net threads into the motif edge would save work. But if the motifs are small then letting the net cover the entire back of the motifs would be faster. Doing sewings takes time. Its a question of which method is faster. I'm still a little fuzzy on exactly when machine made nets were widely available, and reliably available. My impression is that would be the 1820s or 1830s. Your Charles X piece might fit in the machine net era. But the others, probably not. So assume hand work.

Comment by Devon Thein on January 19, 2019 at 11:54am

Yesterday, I realized after going through my photography, thee the making of the drochel ground in strips in Point d'Angleterre, or Brussels vrai drochel edgings is the norm, although I had never noticed it before. Subsequently, I heard from a well regarded lace authority who has a great deal of knowledge.She asked me whether I had ever seen a piece that was strips joined together with the motifs applied (as I had thought was the norm.)  She also suggested that if the process was applique, perhaps the underlying mesh was actually machine made. 

This got me to thinking about why I had formed the opinion that this had been done, and I looked around in my books. I found the source of this information in Marian Powys, Lace and Lacemaking, p. 136. "The technique of this lace is the same as Point d'Angleterre, but in the Empire period, when there was often little decoration at the border of a large space of net, the ground was made in strips about three-quarters of an inch wide, invisibly joined. The lace was applied to this ground, or more exactly the ground to the lace, as was done after with the machine-made nets in the Brussels appllique laces." She is writing about the Diana and Endymion coverlet which we have in the Met (44.91.1) It is quite likely that this may be a commission for royalty or the aristocracy. I am posting a photo of this piece showing the applique. It is the one with a green background. I looked through my other photography to see if there were any other examples of pieces where I believe that the motifs were sewn on to handmade drochel net. I found several, but all of a royal nature except for one, which was just a border. Here are some photos. On pink, Napoleonic bee, 09.68.234. Fleur de lis: Charles X monogram, 1824 (20.101.1a). Napoleonic bee, on a veil, 54.44.1, and the border shown from the back (14.14.2) 

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on January 18, 2019 at 4:52pm

In this last one the strips are really obvious. And the lacemaker seems to have taken just one pair and made a large loop for the next strip to be sewn into. And that is where the threads are breaking or frayed. Not enough support.


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