China and porcelain may look similar to the untrained eye – but, when compiling a wedding registry, and choosing items that you hope to cherish forever, which one makes the mark?
Bone china and porcelain: these two materials are worlds apart. It’s important when compiling your registry that you take these differences into account, especially when it comes to dinnerware.
Bone china, as its name suggests, is made from bone, cow bone being usually the material of choice. The bone is finely ground into ash, which is then mixed with various other materials; namely feldspar, ball clay, quartz, and kaolin. The quality of the finished product is based on how much of the mixture is made up of bone. A high-quality bone china may be a minimum of 30% bone, although many countries require a minimum of 50% bone to classify as bone china.
Porcelain is an ancient material, and is thought to have originated in over 1000 years ago. However, the process has changed a lot over the years. Early versions used clay and ground glass, but in the 1700s, German manufacturers started using feldspar instead of glass, and today, silica is also added to the raw ingredients. The raw materials are finely ground, cleaned, formed in a mold, and then fired.
So, bone china and porcelain have very different raw ingredients, but the differences don’t stop there! Porcelain is fired at around 1,455° Celsius (2,650° F), whilst bone china is fired at the lower temperature of 1,200° (2,200° F). With bone china, this first firing process will cause the product to shrink, and about 20% of the pieces that are made will crack and break at this stage. The surviving pieces are then glazed and put through the firing process a second time. Those that don’t crack or break during the second stage are then decorated with their final patterns.
How do I tell the difference?
Luckily at MyList we clearly state what material each product is made out of. But if you’re out and about, it’s easy to tell the difference between bone china and porcelain if you know what you’re looking for. Firstly, bone ash gives bone china a warm color, while porcelain is often bright white.
Also, if you hold the bone china up to the light, you’ll see that it has a translucent quality. Bone china is also usually thinner than porcelain and the glaze is smoother.
Bone china is much softer than porcelain, but the bone actually makes dishes harder by making them softer. Sound strange? Well, by making the dinnerware softer and less brittle, it is actually more resilient and less likely to break. The thin and delicate appearance of bone china is often considered more elegant than that of its counterpart.
We say: Splash out and select bone china for your occasion dinnerware – you will cherish these elegant pieces forever.
Dine like kings and queens with Noritake Georgian dinner set. Inspired by Gothic tapestry embroidered with gold threads, the set defines elegance and luxury. Tanagra, 21,125 AED > Add to List
Your friends would trade all the tea in china for this Roy Kirkham Redoute Rose teapot. Tavola, 220 AED > Add to List
Porcelain is strong and durable enough that it’s suitable for a wider range products. It is heavier than bone china and less expensive, making it an economical choice for many. However, porcelain’s brittle composition leaves dishes prone to chipping.
We say: Porcelain is great for everyday use, and especially for items that need to be passed around or used a lot.
The porcelain WMF Nuro Salad Bowl is a sleek and durable option; perfect for everyday use. Tavola, 325 AED > Add to List
This porcelain Pip Studio “Love Birds” sugar bowl doesn’t even need to be filled up, it’s as sweet enough as it is. Galeries Lafayette The Dubai Mall, 84 AED > Add to List
Discover many more inspirational gift ideas on our website or in any of our partner stores. We offer brides-to-be an extensive array of gifts, with thousands exquisite and original brand items from more than 75 retailers & service providers as well as honeymoon and charity registry options. Create your Wedding Registry now with MyList.ae: it is very easy, flexible and free!