Mechanical Lace ... In the middle of the nineteenth century, the first looms for mechanical lacemaking began to appear. Since then, the style and materials used in producing these types of lace have become highly diversified. Often very fine, antique mechanical lace was produced by a complex weaving machine between 1850 and 1940. It is found almost exclusively in lace sold by the meter. The finest examples can sometimes be confused with certain types of handmade lace.