Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jul 15, 2007 05:47 PM

Everyday Dinnerware Help Needed

My wife and I just got married and registered for fine china and what we thought was an everyday plateware....but have now found out it is "white bone china". The style we chose was Lenox Tin Can Alley

Since we know nothing about this sort of stuff...can someone please check out the link and give us some advice?!?! I guess the wording "china" is confusing me. I was always under the impression that "china" was dinnerware that was only used on special occassions. But perhaps that is Fine China and not Bone China. If so, then what is Fine Bone China? HELP!!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. China is just a colloquialism for a type of porcelain. You can use whatever you want for your everyday dinnerware. Bone China is made with bone ash.

    1. There is no rule on what can or cannot be used everyday or for special occasions. If you love the pattern you registered for, USE it. What good is it to you to leave it in the cupboard? The only thing I would worry about is chipping or breaking a plate now and then. If you decide to use your china for everyday, you can still dress the table up for special occasions with charger plates, table cloths, etc.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cecilia

        I agree with you. I remember helping a friend clean up her Porter Ranch house after the Northridge quake back in '94. Everything that could break in that house did. In addition to her everyday stuff, she also lost all her china and crystal that she had rec'd for her wedding less than a year before. I think she had used it only once or twice. Eventually she replaced it, and now she uses it all the time. She told me that after having lost it all, she refuses to be afraid of using her nice things anymore.

      2. If it's bone china, it's fairly thin and the manufacturer may recommend hand-washing. Typically, every day ware is stoneware or similar durable stuff to allow for daily use & daily dishwashing.

        1. That's a perfect pattern to use everyday. Use it and enjoy it. Somehow, food just seems to taste better on lovely dinnerware. We have Lenox as well, although it is the bone china. For "everyday" meals we use a handthrown pottery that I began collecting before I was married. There are no rules. Life is too short to waste time worrying about which plate to use.

          1. Believe it or not bone china is some of the sturdiest dinner ware you can buy even though it is so delicate looking. The clay it is made from is a hard paste clay. When bone ash is added to it, it gives it that beautiful white color. If the ash is left out you have fine china or a porcelain. Again very study. Next on the list is stone ware. It is heavier in appearance but because it is vitrified in the firing process is is also less likely to chip. As you come down the scale the next it earthen ware. The clay is a soft paste clay and porous and will chip and crack. Since is is a softer porous clay if you chip it or crack it food residue can seep in and bacterial growth can begin. The bottom of the list is Ironstone and not much is produced today, it will chip if if you stare at it too hard.

            All of the above can go into the dishwasher. Royal Doulton, Royal Worcester, and many of the producers suggest using a dishwasher. Do not use the heated dry cycle, if your dishwasjer has a china setting use it. If there is a platinum or gold edge the heat can be tough on it. But washing by hand with wet soapy hands is going to lead to slipping and cracking and breaking. That Leonx is going to last a long time with daily use. You made a good choice. I think everyone should have a set of plain white bone china as well as much of any other you can afford to give house room to. You can dress it up or down dependng on occasion and you can also mix in something with a bit of pattern in salad plates if you like that look. Some times for a fun sort of look I will use a china marker and write the name of each guest on the rim instead of using place cards. It will wash right off in the dishwasher after the meal. Enjoy it and don't worry about it. If is was something like Spode earthenware I'd be (and am) more careful with it.