This bobbin lace border, possibly Italian, was probably used to trim a fashionable collar or cuffs of around 1620. It is made of linen thread (verified by Angharad Rixon through SEM analysis). Although it shows more sophisticated design and workmanship than the simple seaming laces of the previous century, the border uses the same continuous bobbin lace technique in which pattern and ground are worked together with the one set of threads, so that the wider the lace the more threads are used. It is generally acknowledged that the earliest bobbin laces were worked by this method.
Both bobbin and needle lace, for fashion rather than domestic use, became powerful status symbols from the mid 1500s as wealthy men and women strived to draw attention to their fine linen undershirts and chemises with increasingly elaborate lace trimmings. Until well into the 1600s needle lace was more expensive and popular than bobbin lace. As a result bobbin lace designs often copied the shape of the needle lace, which resulted in a considerable technical challenge for the lacemakers.
See Classification System page 10 (http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/pdf/research/classification.pdf )
and Glossary page 6. (http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/pdf/research/glossary.pdf)