Bone China vs Porcelain Dinnerware: Understanding the Differences in Material and Production

Bone China and porcelain are two popular materials used to produce high-quality dinnerware. While they may look similar, these two materials have several key differences. This article will explore bone China in more detail and understand how it differs from other Porcelain Dinnerware.

Bone China

Bone China is a type of porcelain composed of bone ash, feldspar, and kaolin. Adding bone ash to the porcelain mixture gives bone China unique properties, including clarity, whiteness, and strength. Bone ash is created by burning animal bones at a very high temperature until they are reduced to a fine powder. This powder is mixed with other materials to develop bone in China.

A brief history

The history of bone China can be traced back to the mid-18th century when it was first developed in England. The credit for its creation is often given to Josiah Spode, a potter experimenting with different types of porcelain mixes to create a strong and translucent material. Spode eventually settled on a recipe that included bone ash, feldspar, and kaolin, and he began producing bone in China in his factory in Stoke-on-Trent in 1800.

Over the years, bone China has become synonymous with high-quality dinnerware and is prized for its unique characteristics and elegant appearance. Bone China is still produced in Stoke-on-Trent and other parts of the world and remains a popular choice for fine dining and special occasions.

MALACASA Lotus 16 Piece Bone China Dinnerware Set

Unique Characteristics

One of the critical characteristics of bone China is its transparency. When held up to a light source, bone China has a distinctive glow that is not present in other types of porcelain.

Bone China is known for its whiteness, resulting from the high proportion of bone ash used in production.

Another unique characteristic of bone China is its strength. Despite its delicate appearance, bone China is durable and can withstand significant wear and tear.

    How is bone China made?

    The manufacturing process for bone China is similar to that of other types of porcelain dinnerware but with a few key differences.

    The first step in the process is to mix the raw materials, which include bone ash, feldspar, and kaolin, in precise proportions. The mixture is then ground into a fine powder and blended with water to create a slurry.

    The slurry is then poured into plaster molds designed to give the bone China its desired shape. The molds are left to dry, allowing the bone China to take on the form of the mold. Once the bone China dried, it is removed from the mold and polished to remove imperfections.

    The bone China is fired at around 1250 degrees Celsius; this high temperature is essential to fuse the material, which makes it hard and durable. It also gives bone China its characteristic whiteness and translucency. Once the firing process is completed, bone China undergoes a glazing process where its surface is applied with a thin layer of glass. This layer of glass gives the bone China its shine and smoothness and helps protect it from damage and staining.

    MALACASA Rafa 16 Piece Bone China Dinnerware Set

      What makes bone China different from other types of porcelain dinnerware?

      Regarding dinnerware, there are many materials to choose from, including bone China, hard-paste porcelain, and soft-paste porcelain. While both of these materials share similarities, some differences set them apart. Let’s discuss what makes bone China different from other types of porcelain dinnerware.

      1. Bone China vs. hard-paste porcelain

      Hard-paste porcelain is made from feldspar, kaolin, and quartz. They are different from bone China as hard-paste porcelain contains no bone ash. This is why hard-paste porcelain looks different from bone China, resulting in a more matte finish and less transparency. Hard-paste porcelain is also more brittle and prone to chipping than bone China, making it less durable overall.

      2. Soft-paste porcelain vs. bone China

      Soft-paste porcelain is made from kaolin, feldspar, glass, and other materials such as bone ash or animal bone. This gives it a similar appearance to bone China but with a slightly different texture and feel. Soft-paste porcelain is also less translucent than bone China and is more prone to crazing, tiny cracks that can form in the glaze over time.

      Uses of bone China dinnerware

      Bone China dinnerware is popular for special occasions and everyday use due to its unique appearance, durability, and strength.

      One of the most common occasions where bone China dinnerware is used is for formal events, such as weddings, holiday dinners, and other special occasions. The delicate and refined appearance of bone China makes it an excellent choice for these events, where elegance and sophistication are essential.

      However, bone China is reserved for more than just special occasions. You can also use it for everyday use, mainly if you want to add a touch of luxury to your daily routine. Whether serving a simple breakfast or hosting a dinner party, bone China dinnerware will impress your guests.

      MALACASA Jera 16 Piece Bone china Dinnerware Set

      Tips for taking care of bone China dinnerware

      When taking care of your bone China dinnerware, there are a few things to remember.

      • It is essential to handle it with care. Rough handling can cause damage.

      • Avoid stacking plates too high or putting heavy objects on top of them.

      • When washing bone in China, use mild detergent and warm water, and avoid using abrasive scrubbers or harsh chemicals.

      • Dry bone China with a soft cloth or air dries it to prevent chipping.

      • Bone China should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

      • When stacking plates, use felt or paper liners to prevent scratches.


      In conclusion, bone China and porcelain dinnerware have been popular for centuries due to their unique beauty and durability.

      Choosing the correct type of porcelain dinnerware is essential in creating an enjoyable and memorable dining experience. Bone China is famous due to its versatility, elegance, and durability. It adds a touch of luxury to any occasion, whether a formal event or a casual meal at home. With proper care and handling, bone China can last for many years and continue to bring beauty and sophistication to your dining table.

      Investing in quality bone China dinnerware is a wise choice for anyone who values elegance, durability, and timeless beauty. So, choose the right type of porcelain dinnerware that suits your lifestyle and taste, and enjoy a dining experience that is both sophisticated and enjoyable.

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