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How Do I Choose the Best Porcelain Dinnerware?

Coffee in a porcelain cup.
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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 March 2014
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Choosing the best porcelain dinnerware is a decision that may take some time, as the result is likely to be around for many years. There are many factors to consider when choosing porcelain dinnerware, including the manufacturer, pattern, price, and ease of use. Porcelain dinnerware is sold through many home supply stores and is also easy to find online.

Porcelain is an ancient craft, dating back to Chinese artisans around 600 CE. The material is created by combining clay, usually kaolin, with other substances, such as glass or ground stone, and then firing the mixture at a very high temperature. Porcelain is far more durable than regular ceramics, allowing it to be shaped into thinner and more delicate forms. In addition, the added silicates and minerals impart a glass-like sheen on the finished product, giving true porcelain a distinct shine.

Modern porcelain may sometimes be sold as bone china, but this is actually a distinct type of porcelain created in Germany. To make bone china, ground bones are mixed with the clay to increase whiteness. People who object to the use of animal products may wish to avoid bone china, though true porcelain dinnerware is generally free from animal products.

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Porcelain dinnerware is available in hundreds of patterns and shapes, from simple white to bold, modern designs. Since this type of dinnerware is often in the most expensive range available, it may be important to choose a set that will stay fashionable and fresh-looking to maximize use. Classic colors, floral patterns, and delicate etchings may be a good choice for those who do not want their dinnerware to look dated.

Since porcelain is valuable, many people prefer to save it for special occasions. Some patterns are even created for specific holidays, which makes getting out the good porcelain part of a holiday tradition. To get great deals on occasional china, try shopping just after the holiday when the festive dinnerware is most likely to be on sale.

Ease of use is a major consideration when choosing porcelain dinnerware. Though durable, this type of china is often pounded extremely thin, making it beautiful but also breakable. Additionally, many types of porcelain are now safe for use in microwaves and dishwashers, making both preparation and clean-up less of an ordeal. Finding porcelain dinnerware that matches a fast paced lifestyle and hard use is now easier than ever, but it may be important to carefully examine available information to be sure that the desired pattern will truly stand up.

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Discuss this Article

anon234044
Post 3

Just a couple of points: bone ash is used in porcelain, and the method was developed in England, not Germany.

geekish
Post 2

You are definitely not alone my friend! The good news is double-fold there is a store that actually buys partial sets (even singular pieces) sells the pieces as well. I cannot remember its name but it is located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Great information to know after you find that perfect set of porcelain dinnerware!

tolleranza
Post 1

After receiving my favorite china for a wedding present (which I was against even choosing a china set at first - I thought, "Who needed such expensive dinnerware?" - until I realized how the actual porcelain used to make china was incredibly durable); I lost a few of the pieces in the dinnerware set.

I was bummed - you do not want to have to buy an entire set just to replace a few pieces!

Does anyone know of a place where you can buy partial dinnerware sets? I am surely not the first that has lost a few pieces?

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