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Buyers Guide to Glassware

Posted by Louise Wood on

Creatd Guide to Glassware

Glassware comes in many shapes and sizes, designs and styles. It is a material that can be can be completely transparent or opaque, or somewhere in between. Glass can be wafer thin and fragile, or incredibly tough when blown in thicker dimensions. Glassware can be the centrepiece, or merely the container of the main attraction. In short glass is a material like no other and here are our top four tips for buying.

  1. Consider the type of glass
  2. The perfect glass for your favourite tipple
  3. Glass vases
  4. Glass care

Consider the type of glass

  • Soda- Soda glass is perfect for everyday use, it is less expensive than Crystal, but durable and suitable for families and every day use. Soda glass comes in a huge range of shapes and colours, from sleek tumblers to elegant wine glasses. Soda glass is perfect for laid back dining and more casual settings. Soda glass is also used for making vases and larger pieces.
  • Crystal- Crystal glass is again suitable for everyday use, but also for more formal occasions. With a weightier feel than soda glass it is a finer quality and a good option, when compared to the more expensive lead crystal. On a technical point! To be classified as crystal, glass needs to contain at least 10% lead oxide. It is the lead oxide that gives the glassware its sparkle.  
  • Lead crystal- Lead crystal is finest glassware. Beautifully clear, heavy, lead crystal tends to be the glassware for special occasions. Again to be classed as lead crystal, it has to contain at least 24% lead and full lead crystal contains over 30% lead. 

Vintage Design White Wine Glasses

Glassware and Drinks

Glassware is of course synonymous with drinking glasses. There are so many types of drinking glasses and here is a summary of the main types:

Wine Glasses:   White Wine - A smaller glass, holding a lower volume, as the volume is held in the bottle and kept fresh and chilled. The narrower opening helps retain the aromas. Red Wine - A larger glass (bowl), which helps the wine to breathe. Champagne - A narrow flute that helps keep the fizz! 

Cocktail Glasses: High ball - For longer drinks - gin and tonics, mojitos, but also soft drinks. Flat bottom tumblers, perfect for whisky, juices or water. Martini Glasses, with their iconic cone shape and long stem, perfect for holding and keeping the cocktail cool.  

Spirit Glasses: Shot glasses, for pouring the perfect measure of high alcohol content. Snifter glasses - Or brandy glasses, perfect for holding in the palm of your hand, warming the drink. 

There are of course many other types of glass, including glasses for longer drinks such as beer and lager. Having the right amount and type of glass is a balance between what you need for every day use and coping with larger gatherings, but not taking up too much room in the mean time! Remember glasses can be multi-functional and you can always opt for reusable plastic glasses in an emergency!

Glass Vases

Glass vases make ideal centre pieces, either as standalone pieces or the perfect vessel to display flowers or candles and they will naturally retain water, or a flame.  Hurricane lanterns have a long history, the glass around a candle serving the practical purpose of protecting the flame. Of course in modern times the pieces are interior staples, used both indoors and out. Hurricane vases take many shapes and sizes and often sit on a wooden or terracotta base. 

Glass can be wonderfully individual, particularly when hand blown by artisans leading to truly unique pieces with their non-symmetrical lines and wonderful little imperfections. The punchbowl glass hurricane is a great example. 

Punch Bowl Glass Hurricane

"Glass doesn't have to be see through"

Remember, whilst clear glass shows off the beauty of whatever is in it, glass doesn't have to be see through. Coloured and frosted glass can be a great way to create atmosphere with lit candles in side. For example the Lyric or frosted candle holders.

Glass Care

Handwashing is perhaps the safest and most effective way of cleaning your glassware, even if it is not the most popular! Careful hand washing reduces the chance of breakages and cracks that can appear due to temperature shock. Warm water and mild detergent is recommended and allow your glassware to soak to help remove any stubborn staining. Lemon juice or white vinegar can also help with removing stains and always use a soft warm cloth when required.

If you cannot resist the lure of the dishwasher, make sure your glassware is dishwasher proof. Avoid hotter programmes, make sure glassware is securely stowed and ensure that pieces cannot knock together. Definitely do not stack and try to avoid the dishwasher for you finest lead crystal!

It is always best to dry glassware, rather than leaving to stand as to avoid staining and smearing. In summary glassware will last many years provided it is well looked after.