Types of Dinnerware Material
Call it what you will - plates, platters or crockery - the focal point of your table can be your dinnerware. Before you start wondering about patterns and colours, focusing on the materials you really like will be a helpful start. Bone china, earthenware, porcelain, melamine and stoneware are the most common dinnerware materials.
These types of dinnerware have their own benefits to help you make your choice.
Bone china: Bone china is a durable, lightweight and elegant alternative for everyday and special occasion dinnerware as it is chip resistant. This is the strongest range of porcelain, but unlike fine china, it is usually microwaveable and dishwasher safe.
Pottery: Pottery exudes a noble, robust and casual charm. As one of the oldest industrial materials, it also gives your dinnerware a remarkable weight. To keep this dinnerware in top condition, it is best to avoid unexpected temperature changes, such as high settings in the oven or microwave.
Porcelain: Porcelain is a versatile material with a non-porous surface and incredible durability due to the high firing temperatures. Porcelain is often used in dishwashers, microwaves and ovens. Some porcelain dinnerware contains metal elements, so please be aware as this makes these sets non-microwaveable.
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Melamine: These dinnerware sets are an absolute artist's dream, being both shatterproof and not prone to breaking or chipping. Melamine dinnerware is perfect for outdoor use. Although melamine dinnerware is not suitable for your oven or microwave, it can usually be washed in the dishwasher.
Stoneware: Stoneware dinnerware sets have a special polished glaze that gives the material a smooth appearance and impervious surface, making it ideal for everyday use and family friendly. Stoneware sets are more durable than earthenware, but still require maintenance and are kept at an even temperature. If you choose stoneware, be careful not to expose it to high or freezing temperatures. Also, remember that pieces with hand-painted designs may require hand washing.
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Style of dinnerware
Incorporating your personal style into your dinnerware set is easy. They come in a variety of designs, from casual to stylish, and many in between. More formal dinnerware is usually made of porcelain or china or rough earthenware.
Pottery and melamine make great casual dinnerware sets. It is best to have a durable dinnerware set for everyday use, a shatterproof set for young people and outdoor parties, and finer materials for more stylish dinner parties and formal gatherings. It's best to have one set for everyday use and another set especially for holidays and special occasions.
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Now that we know what styles of dinnerware are available, it's time to move beyond formal and casual designs. We can further divide the dinnerware sets into four style categories: hand-painted, patterned, plain and banded. A great way to express your personality and complement your home décor is to use colour and pattern. Choosing a neutral colour such as white or ivory is the most versatile formal dinnerware set.
Choosing a dinnerware set with a nice border or edge detail will add colour and personality while still showcasing the meal itself. For more informal plates, why not make a splash with colours and patterns that appeal to you. Be adventurous. Consider opting for classic or traditional pieces rather than trend-driven ones. If you're buying for longevity, solid or banded white pieces are a timeless, versatile choice. They can act as an elegant base when you want to add more colourful accents to your table and can also enhance the look of your meal.