The Origin of Fine China

Have you ever wondered why fine china is not called fine porcelain? After all, there is no such material known as “china”. China sets are made from porcelain. So, how did the name of porcelain dinner sets come to be known by the “china” moniker?

It should come as no surprise that these dinner sets originated in the country of China over 1400 years ago. These dinner sets were made from porcelain and for many centuries China was the only country that produced porcelain products.

The process used to create these dinner sets was quite original for its time. Originally, a highly sophisticated heating process was employed to create these items. In the modern era, the ability to heat clay to turn it into porcelain is not that difficult. There are a number of specially designed ovens and heating devices that can produce solid porcelain products. Of course, 1400 years ago the ability to produce porcelain was limited. Ovens that would be considered incredibly primitive by modern standards were employed to create the items. Despite the limitations of these early ovens, they obviously delivered on their intended purpose.

The early forms of what we know now as modern dinner china were popular because they were properly crafted. They provided sturdy dinner ware that was a significant step up from common clay bowls of the era. As the process to create china was perfected, a little bit of creativity was employed in the creation process. This led to these dinner sets becoming incredibly popular and in demand all over China.

Eventually, the popularity of porcelain china expanded far beyond the borders in china. In the 17th century, porcelain dinner sets began to be exported to Europe and the western world where it was immediately popular. Since the country of China was the only country producing the dinner sets, they were dubbed “china sets”. Even though today many countries produce china sets, they still maintain their Far East moniker.