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 January 18, 2019 at 4:14pm

Regarding the Point d'Angleterre with the strips of droschel. New theory. They are all like that but I never noticed before. See the photos for the pattern of joins.

Comment by Devon Thein on January 18, 2019 at 4:12pm

Lorelei, some of those little snowflakes look just like the filling in one of the photos. Interesting. One thing about using a pair as a single is that you can have more threads to feed into the linen stitch faster as in the Flemish laces. 

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on January 18, 2019 at 4:10pm

Your 2nd piece is also interesting. The raised work indicates that this is primarily a part lace, Duchesse or Brussels. Duchesse, last half of the 19th century would almost certainly have had the motifs appliqued onto machine made net, I am not certain that machine net could be made in Droschel ground, or whether only point ground was possible. This is definitely Droschel ground. The existence of strips does seem apparent, which indicates hand made ground. If hand made it would be possible to hook the ground threads onto the completed motifs, and to hook those threads onto motifs to start a ground section, and to complete one.

So these technical elements suggest not last half of 19th century, but earlier. An odd element is that some of the edge motifs are filled with needlelace stitches, not bobbin fillings (although most have bobbin fillings).

The design has a large ground-motif ratio. That was typical of the last 3rd of the 18th century. Both edges have motifs, not a straight sewing edge. So this was probably intended as lappets. How far into the 19 th century were lappets in fashion? They are definitely 18th century. I don't know enough about fashion history to pick an end date for lappets. I seen to remember seeing a photo of Queen Victoria wearing a lappet type thing, but the lace was narrow, like an edging or insertion adapted for that purpose. But I'm not certain about this.

On the whole, I think an 18th century date, specifically last half or last 3rd of the 18th century fits with the technical and design elements we can see.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on January 18, 2019 at 3:51pm

Devon - Here is Mechlin ground, oriented vertically, in the direction the lace maker would see it. It is a stack of half stitches, basically a Brussels ground without the pin in the middle of the stack.

Here is point ground:

Here are some variations on the little snowflake, used in Binche, Flanders and other continental laces as a filling.

As to whether it is Russian ........ I wouldn't venture a guess. But point ground lace was made in Russian, and in every other lace making country, during the 19th century. The book is RUSSIAN EMBROIDERY AND LACE by Yefimova and Belogorskya, Thames and Hudson, 1982, with a foreward by Santina Levey. Most of the lace is Vologda and tape laces, but there are some point ground. The only distinction that I can see is a certain mechanical character to the design, lacking the flowing delicacy of English and Danish point ground.

There is a booklet published by OIDFA, POINT GROUND LACE, A COMPARATIVE STUDY, 2001. It purports to detail the itty bitty technical differences in stitches used, thread paths, in the various regions that produced point ground lace. It includes Slovenian and Czech lace, but not Russian. (Am I surprised?) It won't exactly answer your question, but would give you an idea of regional differences.

Comment by Karen Thompson on January 18, 2019 at 2:59pm

Have never seen anything like the first piece with double threaded point ground. Very interested in seeing other comments. 

Comment by Karen Thompson on January 18, 2019 at 2:58pm
  • I have seen similar technique on at least one piece at the Smithsonian, but have no specific information about it. At the moment the Museum is, of course, closed, but I am also traveling, so not able to access the info. Will try after getting back there. 
Comment by Devon Thein on January 18, 2019 at 1:32pm

More mysteries. We all know that there were cases where long, narrow strips of droschel mesh were made and joined together and motifs were applied to them. We have encountered a piece where it appears that the droschel was worked in strips, but that it was also worked around the motifs. It appears as though the droschel was worked around and into the motifs and extra pairs were carried along the edge of the motif, later entering the droschel ground. So, the lace is not applique. I am attaching some photos. in one, you can see the faint lines of strips which I have indicated with arrows. In the other you can see where the droschel mesh is sewn into the edge of the motif.  I am wondering if others have found this as well? The piece is supposed to be 18th century, it looks like it is late 18th century. 

Comment by Laura Sandison on January 18, 2019 at 11:37am

Definitely an interesting piece! I hope someone has more information about it.

Comment by Devon Thein on January 17, 2019 at 6:21pm

I have encountered an interesting lace of a type that I have never seen before and wonder if others have seen it. Our information is that it is 19th century from Russia. Also, it says Mechlin, although I think that this may have been an attempt to relate it to something known. In fact, the ground of this piece seems to be a point ground where two threads are worked as one, but when the pairs come together the threads operate as one and make a linen stitch. Does anyone have any familiarity or information about this kind of lace?

Comment by Sandra Popek on December 11, 2018 at 6:41pm

Thank you for the website Lorelei !


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