Crockery Info

Short / Brief Summary About

  • Porcelain
  • Bone China
  • Vitrified / Vitreous
  • ROK

There are different types of China, Porcelain and Tableware R.O.K. and the terms are used very loosely. Porcelain comes in hard paste and soft paste.

Hard paste Porcelain

Made from white china clay, kaolin and china stone. When fired at great heat, these ingredients fuse to become a vitreous white surface - entirely hard.

Soft paste Porcelain

Made from white china clay. Firing is at a high temperature but not as great as that of hard paste porcelain. The body is more liable to breakage.

Bone China

Bone china is hard with a combination of clay and china stone made white and strong by the addition of calcified bone. It has a finer texture, a warmer creamier colour than the "blue white" of other clays and very strong. The adding of the bone makes it translucent.

Vitrified / Vitreous

Vitreous means glass-like. Vitreous china is made of clays that are glazed and fired at extremely high temperatures. The temperature causes the glaze to fuse with the clay and become non-porous. This China is both delicate and extremely durable.


Means run of kiln, a mixture of bestware grade & good selected seconds grade. When factories have production runs a percentage of the production will have a flaw or imperfection. For example, the glaze is not even, or a speck of dust could have got onto the glaze and shows up as a little mark.

Purchasing Crockery for Distributors, Hotels, Restaurant, Banqueting, Hire Companies, Retail, Shipping Lines,Etc

Whether you run a prestigious Hire Company, hotel, Banqueting Halls, purchasing manager crockery can be a daunting task. Trying to figure out everything from how much crockery to buy to what style will work best for your establishment can seem like an insurmountable job. Phrases like alumina-enriched and thermal shock can be confusing and off-putting, and so this guide will give you a clear and easy to follow breakdown of all the dos and don’ts for the would-be crockery buyer.

Quantity and Storage

When choosing crockery, think practically. While your budget is likely to be your primary concern, you’ll also have to consider a wide range of factors, such as how your new plates and dishes will look, how much storage space you have, and whether or not you need it to be safe for use in the freezer, dishwasher or microwave, will all come into play when you make your choice.

To start with, it will be worth measuring your ovens, fridges, freezers, microwaves and cupboards. There’s no point buying a new crockery which looks great on your table, if it won’t fit where you need it to.

Also, it will be worthwhile to think about the look and feel you’re trying to achieve. Fine dining and luxurious surroundings will require a very different style of crockery than a self-service establishment where accidents can happen.

Last, it’s essential to consider quantity. Buying the right amount of plates isn’t as simple as calculating how many people will be in your establishment at any one time; when you’re fully booked and looking to serve as many people as possible in a given time period, some crockery is always going to be in the kitchen, either being washed or ready to be plated up, so think carefully.


Thermal Shock

Thermal shock relates to how much change in temperature a piece of crockery can withstand. For example, a plate with low thermal shock resistance will not be suitable to go from the freezer straight into the oven, whereas a piece with high thermal shock resistance will.


Fully vitrified crockery is fired to a very high temperature, making it non-porous, scratch resistant and very durable. Ideal for busy restaurants.


Rolled Edge

Crockery with a rolled edge is stronger than regular crockery. During the manufacture process, the edge of the clay is literally rolled back onto itself, making it stronger.

Types of Crockery

There are a number of different types of crockery available, each with their own benefits and disadvantages. Choosing the one that’s right for you can be tricky, and you should definitely consider more than just how far your budget will stretch.

Bone China

Sophisticated, elegant and remarkably strong, bone china is the hallmark of quality. Made from at least 45% bone ash, bone china has a far higher strength than most other forms of crockery, meaning that its manufacturers can make it very thin. This gives it a refined, delicate appearance, making it very well suited to use in the finest restaurants. As it is very light, it also allows waiters and waitresses to carry multiple plates at a time.


Porcelain is usually hard and white, and is slightly translucent. Porcelain often has a smooth glazed finish, and can be plain or patterned. Traditionally, porcelain has been a popular material for potters to work with, meaning that a very wide variety of designs and styles are now available. Porcelain items are dishwasher, microwave, oven and freezer safe, so whether you run a busy Hire company or you’re looking for some new crockery for your business, porcelain will make an excellent choice.


Earthenware was among the first forms of pottery ever made. Usually thick, and coated with a simple glaze, earthenware is normally quite heavy, making it the ideal material for a wide variety of cookware such as roasting dishes. While its basic sturdiness makes it excellent for making simple, robust items, earthenware is slightly porous, and is best suited to handwashing, as it is not particularly chip-resistant. Earthenware is, however, suitable for use in the freezer, microwave, dishwasher and oven.


As defined by the EEC, "Stoneware, is hard enough to resist scratching, differs from porcelain because it is partially vitrified. It may be vitreous or semi-vitreous. It is usually coloured grey or brownish because of impurities in the clay used for its manufacture, and is normally glazed.”

An ideal material for making bake-ware, stoneware will heat up slowly and evenly in the oven, ensuring your dish cooks evenly. Stoneware often has quite a coarse feel to it, although when glazed, it is smooth and fairly shiny.


Alumina enriched crockery can normally be spotted due to its creamy colour. Alumina is an oxide of aluminium, which is added to the clay to give it additional strength. Though the addition of alumina makes the crockery more expensive than standard porcelain, it is generally cheaper than bone china, making it a popular alternative.