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What is the Difference Between Porcelain and Bone China?

Posting date: 23rd October 2008 22:06

Different types of China or Ceramic Tableware are not well defined and the terms are used loosely. Here is a very brief summary which I hope will help.

Porcelain comes in hard paste and soft paste.

  • Hard paste
    • Made from white china clay or kaolin and fusible felspathic china stone which provides translucence. When fired at great heat, these ingredients fuse to become a vitreous white surface, entirely hard and ringing with a metallic note when lightly struck. Often called true porcelain, this is the type developed by the Chinese during the Sung dynasty.
  • Soft paste
    • Made from white china clay and a vitreous frit that produced translucence. Nearly all 18th century English porcelain is of type. Firing is at a high temperature but not as great of that of hard paste porcelain, and the body is more liable to breakage.
  • Vitreous Porcelain

    Vitreous means glass-lik. Vitreous china is made of clays that are glazed and fired at extremely high temperatures. The temperatures cause the glaze to fuse with the clay and become nonporous. This china is both delicate and extremely durable.

    Bone China

    Bone china is a variety of porcelain. It is a paste intermediate between hard porcelain and soft paste porcelain; a combination of clay and china stone made white and strong by the addition of calcified bone. Of fine texture and warmer creamier colour than the "blue white" of other porcelain and very strong. The adding of the bone makes it even more translucent that other porcelain.

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23 Nov 2019