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Fine Bone China, Bone China vs Porcelain


The first bone china was developed in Stoke-on-Trent more than 220 years ago. This area, now known as "The Potteries", is where the William Edwards House factory was located, and the same traditions and skills have continued for over three centuries to this day. As the quality of porcelain and bone china has evolved and improved with technological advances, a small difference can make a huge and impactful difference to the porcelain itself.

So, what is the difference between fine bone china, bone china and porcelain?

What is porcelain?

Porcelain is a combination of feldspar, quartz and kaolin. These materials are fired in a kiln at temperatures up to 1400°C to make hard, white, non-porous pottery. Compared to bone china, porcelain tends to be heavier and more brittle, which can lead to breakage.

New Bone China Rim Shape Gold Decal Design 20pcs Dinner Set

New Bone China Rim Shape Gold Decal Design 20pcs Dinner Set

What is bone china?

Bone china, also composed of kaolin, feldspar and quartz, has the greatest strength and resilience of all ceramics with the addition of bone ash to its raw materials. The texture and appearance are opaque and snow-white in color.

What is Fine Bone China?

The quality of bone china is determined by the total amount of bone ash contained in the raw material. High-quality fine bone china contains at least 30% bone ash and allows for the production of thin-walled pieces with a more refined appearance and translucency, as well as higher resistance to chipping and durability than porcelain.

Fine bone china is thinner and lighter in weight than porcelain. It also has a warmer tone, while porcelain tends to be brighter.

Through years of practice, William Edwards has perfected the fine bone china process, showcasing all of its outstanding characteristics.

How are the patterns on fine bone china designed?

Each pattern starts with a simple sketch, gradually becomes more detailed, and is eventually refined on the computer in the digital design studio. The selected design was applied to each piece of porcelain, then screened for each color in the pattern and printed onto lithographic paper. The lithographs are carefully slid off the water-slide film, hand-applied to blank fine bone china, and then fired in a kiln at 800°C for 16 hours.

Finally, for gilding, 24 carats of gold are added to the edges, handles and knobs. This is a highly skilled artistic process and our most experienced decorators complete this stage by hand.

The gold edges are then polished with a brush on a polishing machine, and then stamped on the back with William Edwards' name, design and place of manufacture. Finally, the parts are fired in a kiln at 780°C for 16 hours. After a final meticulous inspection, the items are put into individual gift boxes and sent to the customer.

Want to learn more about how fine bone china is designed and produced? Welcome to contact us today or request a quote.  

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