In Picture: Clay Craft‘s Ebony Series Dinnerware
It’s time to bring the fine china out of storage and use it everyday. Here, we share our insights into caring for fine china and tableware.
What are the hallmarks for quality china?
Unfortunately, there are no industry standards for ‘quality’ china and we see the term being used quite generally. The best advice we can give to consumers is, if you want to purchase quality china, do consider buying it from established china brands as they will have strict quality standards and also most likely have invested in research and development. For instance, one of our major areas of innovation is kiln technology. Kilns are where the formed clay objects undergo a firing process. This stage is what sets quality china from cheaper alternatives. If the temperature and distribution of heat during the process are not closely monitored and controlled, it may result in deformation and cracking.
How do you care for your china product?
With our china, we use the strongest ceramic materials; they are fired at the highest temperatures and are made of the strongest ingredients. So you can use your china as often as you wish with as much confidence. But we do ask our customers to treat them with respect that high-quality, beautifully crafted products of any kind deserve. Although very strong, fine china as a material is breakable if abused.
Are there any foods or drinks that should be avoided (due to staining) when using fine china and porcelain?
No. It all comes down to washing your china after use.
What is the best way to wash your dinnerware and china?
If your dinnerware is dishwasher safe, we recommend that you first read the dishwasher manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement, detergent levels and wash strengths to ensure optimum cleaning and care of your dinnerware. Do not use lemon or other citrus-scented detergents if your dinnerware has metallic elements such as a gold or platinum band. Most china manufacturers, including Clay Craft, recommend the use of liquid-base detergent over powder or tablets. If you are washing by hand, use the minimum amount of detergent necessary for cleaning and make sure your china is completely rinsed. An oily feeling or rainbow-coloured sheen generally means that detergents are still present and the harsh chemical reaction is continuing.
Are there any tips and tricks to remove stains such as tea and coffee?
Yes, just use a bit of baking soda and water to wipe the stains with a finger or sponge.
How should you store your china?
This seems pretty obvious, but make sure your china is washed and completely dry before storing. When storing, we recommend you to separate your plates. There are cloth china storage sets available online but you can also substitute them with paper plates. If you own old and delicate china, do not make a large stack as the weight could crack or damage your pieces. In addition, if you are not going to use your china every day, wrap the stacks in plastic wrap to avoid piling of dust.
How has methods of manufacturing changed in recent years – is fine china more durable without sacrificing quality or delicacy?
Clay Craft India invests in research and development and we are constantly looking for new innovations to manufacture quality china. One of the major investments we’ve made in recent years is in the glazing process, which allows us to manufacture china that is not only more durable but also lighter in weight and whiteness.
What are some of the latest styles and colours on shelves at present?
We see more homeware designs that are simple with low tolerance for clutter. And there is also more appreciation for natural material and craftsmanship. So you will see more down-to-earth neutral colours and designs with handmade-feel and textures. Copper, soft pastels, blue and green colour palettes are popular at the moment.
What should you look for to invest in heirloom, quality pieces?
Real quality china has smooth even surface and is also quite fine. Lower quality china tends to be thick and heavy; and will likely have uneven surface. Translucency is also an important if you are looking to purchase bone china. To check translucency, simply lift up a plate under a light and check how much light it will let in.
What must-haves should a home have?
A set of quality china is a must. All current Clay Craft dinnerware is suitable for everyday use. But if you like to reheat meals, we suggest you select a functional dinnerware that does not have metal decorations so you can put the pieces in a microwave. If you love to entertain at home, we also suggest a set of formal china and charger plates to add extra style.