Enamelware first became popular in the 19th century and, after many years out of favour, is definitely starting to make a comeback. Back in the early days, manufacturers would coat everything from heavy cast-iron to lighter weight steel. This could include anything from pots and pans, all the way through to ladles and mugs.
The finish itself became extremely popular as the surface was much easier to clean than exposed metal, and enamel also worked to brighten the home thanks to the standard colour of these items being white.
One of the next most popular tones was graniteware, which offered a similar finish but had a more speckled appearance. This worked as a great alternative for those who didn’t want the bright white of enamelware to make such an impact on their interior design, which was mostly leaning towards darker tones at the time. Of course, it wasn’t long before popular manufacturers in Europe began to pull away from the standard white and, instead, began to create everything from bright colours to polka-dots.
These products gained a huge amount of popularity, extremely quickly. This was, mostly due to their affordability, variety of design, lightweight and smooth surface. However, enamelware did have its downsides in the early days. It was prone to cracking, for example, which would often expose the metal beneath its covering which, then, led the metal to rust. In the 1930’s, this finish came up against extremely stiff competition from new materials such as aluminium, stainless steel, Pyrex and plastic. After these materials became more and more popular, enamelled metal was no longer the most obvious, attractive and affordable choice, for all that it remained one of the most stylish.
Although cast iron is a metal which is often enamelled, in the early days it didn’t really become popular with consumers until the French company Le Creuset began exporting its pots, pans and casserole dishes to the US in the early 1950’s; orange was the first colour of choice, followed by yellow.
Throughout the 1960s, a Belgium line called Descoware became hugely popular. This was, widely, credited to Julia Child; the famous cook who taught America to prepare French cuisine one her TV show. Alongside the more traditional block colour designs, this group also introduced patterned enamels, including maple leaf, tulip and ivy designs.
Today, enamelware comes in all shapes and sizes and a vast array of colours and patterns. One of the leading manufacturers, Falcon, currently produces everything from plates, cups, teapots and pie dishes. Along with more traditional kitchenware, modern enamel work has expanded into a whole range of different features, including vases and jugs. Compared to modern alternatives, much enamelware is less functional and is, instead, much more decorative and suitable for decoration as much as actual service.
Here at The Orchard, we’re excited to announce our new collection of enamel products; here are just a few of our favourites:
To view our full collection of enamelware products, please visit our website: www.theorchardhomeandgifts.com! Alternatively, if you have any questions or concerns, you can get in touch with our team directly on 0845 643 0363!