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: 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

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 on Wednesday.

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 May 25, 2020 at 3:41pm

Do you know of anything I could read about the Genoa knock off industry of older styles? 

Comment by Helen Bell on May 25, 2020 at 3:28pm

Your interesting thread transfer looks awfully like a fat plait, which we use in Beds all the time, and you do see it in the old Beds.  It's a very convenient way to move a group of threads from one place to another.

Lorelei's piece below almost looks like the edge was added at a later date, as it seems to have a different 'vibe'/style to it.  I'd also argue that close inspection could reveal a different level of workmanship, supporting the theory of multiple workers (lacemakers).

Is it possible/plausible that it's a knock off from the 1800's?  I know Genoa had quite an industry going at that time that was essentially a 'knock off' industry of the older styles.  The quality of the work and consistency of the square tallies/cucumbers shows some skill and attention to workmanship.

Fascinating piece.

Comment by Devon Thein on May 25, 2020 at 2:58pm

Even as the previous piece has yet to truly be understood, I have encountered another piece which seems to be related in technique which I am also at a loss to identify. However, it looks somewhat like plate 253 in Levey, if only because of the strapwork design in it. I think it may have been remade, so maybe there are pieces from more than one original in it. However, I really find some of the techniques to be interesting and not things I have seen. Levey talks about the tape laces transitioning into the part laces such as Brussels lace (plate 255 a-d) and perhaps this is an example of that. There seems to be an underlying psychology of the same loop construction as in Fiandra, or Noue or occhiolino, all words for the same loop phenomenon. But then the tape becomes a motif and the motif is filled, sometimes with a raised edge like in Honiton, sometimes simply filled. Also there are some very weird transfers of pairs that are quite intriguing. Thoughts? 

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on May 24, 2020 at 8:54pm

As for a date, I don't think it is very old. The odd collection of motifs just does not fit a date around 1700. More likely revival era, or even New Revival Era, somebody laughing at all of us, putting this collection of ideas in the same piece of lace. It shows some knowledge of Revival Era Binche, some knowledge of rib loops backed by half stitch (more likely continental than English), and the little snowflake is also more likely continental.

A marvelous puzzle for us to discuss. Thanx Devon.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on May 24, 2020 at 8:47pm

I haven't a clue what to call it. But here is what I see.

Green outlines an area of cucumber tallies, a motif that often occurs in Binche, particularly Revival Era and modern Binche.  But this piece is a part lace, not a straight lace (Binche is a straight lace}.

The blue outlines an area of tenstick/rib. It is made usually with 5 pairs, though more can be used. One side of the narrow tape is worked as a sewing edge, and the other ctctc, return with the 2nd pair. I have seen this motif in a lace at the Art Institute of Chicago dating from around 1700. And it also occurs in more recent laces, including 20th century.

The red outlines a small number of those loops with half stitch (I think) laid on top of it. (Remember a part lace is worked with the wrong side facing the lace maker.) 

The pink outlines an area filling which may be the small snowflake, also from Binche.

I will attach some photo examples.

lower left hand corner, 2nd tape from left. 

Perryman sampler that I made.  

Little snowflake several variants 

An Art Institute piece with the rib loops, backed by half stitch. 

Comment by Helen Bell on May 24, 2020 at 1:10pm

Wow.  It's got the Fiandra type braids/Ten stick type feature, with square and almost cucumber tallies.  My first thought was it's one of those 'Bastard Laces' from England, like the Beds/Bucks mash/fusions, but this is quite something with layers. It kind of has an English look with some of the fillings and a vague Honiton look, but wow.  This one's a new one to me.

Comment by Devon Thein on May 21, 2020 at 4:16pm

What would you call this lace?

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on May 20, 2020 at 7:14pm

Karen - I really like your Cardinals in Winter. The various colors in the twigs makes believable bark.

Devon - Your Dutch piece from May 13 is interesting. These dense cloth stitch edgings are similar to work in CAROLUSKANTJES. They do appear to be straight laces. I looked to see if there were sewings connecting the footside section to the head side section. But I'm not sure I'm seeing that. It looks like the weaver in many places goes on from the footside to the headside. Whether they were made as freehand lace is impossible to determine, but it could be.

Your piece of May 14 is interesting. I have seen a very early tape lace with a straight tape folded when it changes direction, at the Art Institute of Chicago. That it has needle lace fillings is typical of that type. When I first saw it, many years ago, I wanted to believe that that kind of working method was an invention of the 19th century attempts to make lace faster. But your example, and the one I saw at the AI just prove that lace makers are ingenious at figuring out ways to prevent us from rigid thinking. I would not venture to suggest a date.

Comment by Devon Thein on May 15, 2020 at 2:49pm

Kim- I look forward to seeing the photos of the lace piece. 

Thanks for the tip about Mailander Spitze. It has some very interesting old lace in it, including a piece made with the tally like tapes. It is in the collection in Gandino. I didn't see anything resembling the most recent mystery tape, the one with both diagonal and straight lines, but maybe  I missed it. 

Comment by Kimberly Davis on May 14, 2020 at 8:41pm

Devon, Do  you have Mailander Spitze auf neuen Wegen?  It is a DKV book. From the outside it looks like it is just going to be modern Milanese. Inside, it has a few pieces of old Milanese where the braid is like this.  Granted, the fillings are all made by bobbin and do not have any needle lace stitches.  They are dating the 1600's.


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