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: yesterday

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 April 30, 2012 at 10:30pm

Is this Bedfordshire, Danish, or possibly Swedish? 

It is from the Museo de Arenys.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on February 1, 2012 at 5:21pm

While searching for something else, I came across this page with some photos of antique bobbin and needle laces:

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on February 1, 2012 at 4:06pm


This is where Tebbs is really useful.  She uses all these deceitful names for the laces she describes how to make.  I haven't got it all straight in my head yet because the verbal descriptions are like untangling the tower of babel. 

In practical terms there are several varieties of part laces from the late 19th to early 20th century, that I've seen, that don't fit into the Brussels-Duchesse-Bruges Bloomwork continuum.

There is a kind of coarse Duchesse type lace, in terms of how the motifs are worked and their shapes, that I have several examples of on my website.  See  #179   178   390   98   209    208   177 and possibly 123.   I have a few of these in my collection.  They are typical Duchesse in technique, but the scale is larger, worked perhaps in 100/2 linen (most good duchesse is considerably finer).  Yo Pauwels, who taught at Kantcentrum in the 1980s, was in Chicago to give us a workshop and stayed at my house.  I asked her what she thought they were.  She said "oh, we call that fine bloomwork"  fijn bloomwerk.  But it is not as coarse as Bruges bloomwork usually is and its technique is like simple duchesse, not Bruges bloomwork.

Then there is the Vieux Flandres you mention.  Please look at the same page in my website:   

#55   174   175   349  

But 338    166   165 are different again.  They have the coarse duchesse bobbin lace motifs, worked more openly (almost cheesecloth-like), but the odd thing is the handmade needle lace ground.

I cannot keep it straight in my head which of these is what Tebbs called "vieux flandres".  She also has other names.  I don't know which label goes with which piece.  But these are examples I've seen and handled.  I've always wondered what to call each of these types and exactly where they may have been made.  Tebbs probably has the answer, but I haven't worked it out yet.

Comment by Patty Dowden on February 1, 2012 at 1:47pm

I had an identification adventure at the Lace Museum several years ago.  A woman came in with some lace from a deceased relative that was not quite finished.  She also had a piece that needed to be repaired.

I showed her how to sew in the ends on the unfinished piece and she picked it up quite easily.  

The piece that needed a bit of repair was a puzzle to me as far as what kind of lie it was.  From it's condition, it seemed fairly old (1900 or so), and the first impression was Duchesse, but it was was TOO BIG.  The thread was too big, the parts were too big; it seemed a terrible quandary.  I couldn't tell her what it was.

Later I figured out that is was Vieux Flandre, a horror foisted off by the lace manufacturers with a fancy name implying great age.  What a shock!  While the woman was there, I kept running through the checklist in my head for Duchesse and saying yes to elements, grounds, pattern, but always came back to the sheer size of it.  

I am curious to know what other knowledgeable people know about Vieux Flandre. 

Comment by Beth Schoenberg on February 1, 2012 at 12:07am

What a great project.  Well done!

Have you shown the curator(s) at the museum the finished pieces?  I'll bet they'd love to see how the "fresh new" lace must have looked.  If they have seen your work, and/or your Bulletin article, what did they say?

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on January 27, 2012 at 4:10pm


Comment by Paula Harten on January 27, 2012 at 3:22pm

Actually the" hole with a cross: is made with 10 prs (white,white,red,white, white on each side) coming in and 10 prs going out.  The first and fifth pairs on each side form the sides of a box.  The center pairs (white and red) are plaited and crossed with a windmill crossing and the fourth pair on each side comes in, cuts off the corner and leaves, making the box appear rounded.   No pins are used at all.  I agree it gives the look of 4 honeycomb rings, but it is really less complicated and there is no gimp.

The "open hole" is more complicated because the five pairs coming from each side start with the first and second pairs from each side switching sides (through each other), then the third, fourth and (red) fifth pairs are brought through the first pairs that are continuing diagonally to the next hole. These incoming pairs are woven into a bundle before the third, fifth and second pairs are dropped off in sequence, thinning the bundles to a single pair on each side to join and form the bottom of the hole.  Working 10 pairs into a honeycomb would not recreate what I see in this detail of the Spiro lace.  

Yes, I found a page with images of Kortelahti's patterns and can see that she had, indeed done something like this, but with only 3 pairs coming from each side. A simple plait  would suffice to keep the first two pairs together and the third pair bounces of the plait in the middle of the sides.  I was hoping that was what I was seeing in the Spiro lace, but it really is not.  

As I said in the article, I am not suggesting that the pre-Columbian lace was the ancestor of our modern lace, but that things were learned, done and lost.

Comment by Lorelei Halley Administrator on January 27, 2012 at 1:24pm

Those are good close-ups Paula.  The group of 4 looks like the outer holes are like honeycomb rings in point ground, but worked in torchon ground.  The large single hole  look like 8 pin honeycomb rings.  Kortelahti also uses something similar in one of her new grounds.

Comment by Paula Harten on January 27, 2012 at 1:06am

I made a bookmark using the holes.  Are these images close enough? hole with cross and open hole  The colors spoil the design, but do show the progression of the threads.

Comment by Paula Harten on January 26, 2012 at 5:43pm

Now for the Pre-Columbian lace from Spiro, OK.  This image Imaging Spiro lace  shows the whole artifact in its plexiglass case.  Unfortunately, someone had glued the lace to a backing before they were able to preserve many of the artifacts.

The next photo Locating microscope images shows the process I had to go through to organize some of the best images.  It would have been better to set up a grid and be systematic about taking the photos and microscope images.  this lace is in the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Norman, OK.

I used the Nikon DSLR to get close images of various areas of the lace.  It was not easy to get good images through the plexiglass. This one shows the relationship of all the elements in the lace: the ground, open holes, twined band and holes with a cross.  Note the 5 pairs entering the holes from R and L and two ground pairs passing between the holes.  The ground pairs pass through the twined band.  Note the hole with a cross closest to the band is actually started above the band.

The microscope image here Corner of large hole shows an upper right side of a large hole where five pairs come together and then begin leaving, one at a time, along the side.

I made many versions in my attempt to recreate what I saw in the photos, using a bobbin lace pillow and bobbins.  This is one Recreation of Spiro lace that is not exactly right ( I took a pair out before bringing in all 5 on the right) but it is the way I would have done it if I had been them☺

One last picture for those of you who do not gat the bulletin - Spiro lace recreation in red  The historical textile specialists say the textiles were colorful and red was one of the colors.

This lace is, unarguably, not beautiful, but it is moderately complex.  In any case, it is a piece of history most of us had never seen or heard about.


Translate This Site


Pages for Needle Lace

Pag    search

Beginners     search



Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 7:07pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 9, 2014.


Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 7:29pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Sep 2, 2014.

How to Post a Long Article

Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Mar 7, 2013 at 4:47pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Mar 7, 2013.


Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 19, 2012 at 6:58pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Dec 20, 2012.

How to embed a video on the IOLI site

Created by Tatman Jan 25, 2012 at 3:26pm. Last updated by Lorelei Halley Administrator Jan 25, 2012.



Other Events

Laurie Waters has a very substantial EVENTS list on lacenews.   

EU Cookie Directive

© 2021   Created by Lorelei Halley Administrator.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service