Tableware is the term that is used for “dishes” and thus also referred as “dishware” and it is used for setting a table, serving the food and for dining purposes. Tableware includes a wide variety of items such as cutlery, serving dishes, various kinds of plates and bowls, glassware and other that are used for practical and decorative purposes. The variety, quality, nature, and a number of these items are varied according to the specific culture, religion, occasion, cuisine, and a number of diners.
Another term that is used to refer to tableware is “dinnerware”. “Crockery” refers to the dishes made of porcelain and bone china produced in France, England, Denmark, Germany and Northern Ireland. A set of dishes is referred to as “dinner service”, “table service” or “service set”.
The term “table settings” or “place settings” referred to the dishes, glassware, and cutlery used for the formal and informal dining. Setting a table is the arrangement of tableware for each diner at the table and the decoration of the table itself according to the type of occasion. The decoration of the table and tableware set should be in accordance with the occasion whether it is formal, informal or special occasion. Tableware can be adapted if there is an unusual location of the dining.
Read on further to know more about the materials, types, and linens of tableware:
Which materials are used for making tableware?
Typically, dishes are made of ceramic materials that include:
- Earthenware: it is glazed or unglazed non-vitreous pottery that is usually fired below 1200°C.
- Stoneware: a broader term used for pottery or ceramics that are fired at relatively high temperatures.
- Faience or faïence (in French): a conventional English name that is used for very fine tin-glazed pottery on earthenware body.
- Porcelain: it is made by heating the materials, usually kaolin, in temperatures between 1200 – 1400°C.
- Bone china: it is a type of soft-paste porcelain that is composed of bone ash, kaolin, and feldspathic material.
Porcelain and bone china are the types of crockery materials.
Dishware can also be made of some other materials that include:
- Acrylic (these belong to a group, called as plastics)
- Pewter (it is malleable metal alloy)
What are the different types of tableware?
Tableware is categorized into four main types that include:
- Serve ware
- Flatware or silverware
- Drinkware or glassware
All these four types of dishware are suitable for every occasion whether these are ordinary days or special days.
It is used for the purpose of serving the food or drinks. It is used to bring the food to the table. It includes:
- Serving bowls and platters,
- Salad bowls,
- Gravy boats,
- Soup pots,
- Dessert bowls,
- Serving spoon, a pair of tongs or ladle,
- Containers that are used for serving the drinks, such as pitchers or carafes, and
- Salt and pepper servers
It is a type of tableware that is used to serve the food to an individual diner during the meal. It consists of varieties of dishes whether these are basic plates, bowels or other special pieces. The arrangement of dinnerware depends on the food that is served. It includes:
- Small, quarter, big plates
- Teacups with saucer
It is also called silverware and is considered the most important type of tableware because it refers to the items belongs to cutlery: spoons, forks, and knives. They are available in a variety of different sizes and shapes.
It is also called glassware and refers to any item that is used for the purpose of drinking and it includes cups, mugs, and glasses. The glasses are further divided into two categories:
- Stemware: These types of glasses stand on a stem above the base. It includes martini glass, wine glasses, snifter or brandy glasses, champagne flutes, champagne saucer or ch
ampagne coupe, sherry glass and cordial glass.
- Tumbler: These types of glasses have a flat bottom base. It includes collins glass, high ball or tall glass, rock or low ball glass, shot glass, whiskey tumbler, beer glass, and water glass.
What are the different types of table linens?
Table linens are the cloths that are laid on the table when having a meal. There are four main categories of table linens that include:
- Table Runners
- Table mats or placemats
The tablecloth is used for decorative purposes and is used to unify the different components of the table setting. It is an additional item that gives insulation to the table so that the noise level can be lowered.
In order to buy the right tablecloths, there are five elements that should be considered:
- Visual weight,
- Pattern, and
The table runner is a cloth with a narrow length and is normally placed on top of the tablecloth or it can be placed on the bare table. Table runners can be used for different purposes that include:
- These can be placed in the center of the table for decorative purposes.
- These can be laid across the table for defining the seating for the diners.
- These can be used to define a specific theme of the table setting.
The table runner is easy to carry as compared to tablecloths and they are more decorative than the tablemats.
A napkin is a square piece of cloth that is used during a meal to protect the clothes and to wipe the hands or mouth. The shape and size of napkins depend on the occasion or event. Usually, napkins are available in square shapes.
Tablemats or placemats:
Tablemat is a covering or pad that is used for individual place settings rather the tablecloth that covers the entire surface of the table.
Tablemats can be used for different purposes that include:
- They protect the table from food stains, watermarks, and heat damage. Table placemats made of cotton can absorb liquids.
- They can also be laid on the table for decoration, especially those made of silk or lace.
- They can be used for advertising purposes in restaurants. For example, advertising the different menu items, local businesses or games for kids.
- They can also be used in hotels and various organizations’ meetings. These are made of leather or vinyl and provide a surface for writing or leaning comfortably or placing objects to avoid noise during the meetings.
***The details of table types and tableware linens will be presented in further articles***