Porcelain – often colloquially known as china – is a synthetic ceramic material that is used for all sorts of practical and aesthetic crafts. Porcelain was one of the main materials traded on the silk road and remains a very important synthetic material. Here are some things you might not have known about one of the most hard-wearing and beautiful materials out there. 

It Has All Sorts Of Uses

Porcelain has been used in fields as diverse as dentistry, art, and automotive mechanical engineering. Modern homeowners are probably familiar with the popular porcelain tiling available from places like Italian porcelain tiles in Harrogate. Perhaps the most famous use of porcelain is to create delicate vases. These were first popularized in ancient China and are still considered to be some of the finest ceramic wares ever created. In dentistry, porcelain is used to create veneers. The material is so resistant to chemical damage that it is perfect for replicating the highly durable dental crown. 

It is A Synthetic Material

Porcelain is not simply dug out of the ground and formed into objects. It is a synthetic material – one of the oldest kinds of synthetic material still in use. It is made from a combination of special clay, animal bones, stone, silica, and flint. The type of material used and the quantities in which they are mixed determine the eventual composition of a porcelain batch. All materials need to be finely crushed and mixed before being molded, formed, and fired. Part of porcelain’s value stems from the amount of sheer effort that is needed to create objects using it 

It can Last Over 1000 Years

One of the reasons that porcelain has been so widely employed in the manufacture of high-quality goods is its resistance to wear and tear. If kept carefully, porcelain has proven to last over 1000 years. Ancient Chinese porcelain vases have been kept in near mint condition and are considered to be invaluable material treasures. The most beautiful examples are from more recent times. A number of incredibly beautiful Ming Dynasty vases are still perfectly preserved from the 14th Century – although the likelihood of finding one in your possession is incredibly low. 

It Is Highly Weatherproof

The durability of porcelain includes a remarkable resistance to water and a high tolerance to heat. This makes porcelain perfect for bathroom tiling and high-stress applications like dentistry. In its unglazed form, porcelain retains its translucency no matter what conditions it endures. 

It Was First Popularized In Ancient China

Porcelain was first created and popularized during the Han Dynasty in imperial China. Porcelain created in the Han Dynasty was exported all over the known world via the silk road and was highly prized. Official porcelain craftspeople had to have an imperial license from the emperor. During the Song Dynasty, from 690 – 1269, porcelain was exported in huge quantities using maritime trade routes. Porcelain production was a highly regulated and prized craft in China right up until the end of the imperial Qing age in 1912.