A Brief History of Duralex Glassware

duralex glass

Duralex glassware has been around for more than 80 years. It's also the only glass manufacturing company that makes ALL of their glassware in France. Located in La-Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin near Orleans, France, Duralex is famous for producing strong, clear, durable and aesthetic glassware used throughout Europe. Their glasses are known as the "the ultimate drinking vessels created by man."

How is the glass stronger? Duralex employs a technique called "tempering" and pressing, which based on the principle of thermal shock, the glass is heated to 600 degrees and then cooled very quickly. According to Duralex, "the greater contraction of the inner layer during manufacturing induces compressive stresses in the surface of the glass balanced by tensile stresses in the body of the glass. It is this compressive stress that gives the toughened glass increased strength. This is because any surface flaws tend to be pressed closed by the retained compressive forces, while the core layer remains relatively free of the defects which could cause a crack to begin."

This process also results in excellent transparency, impact resistance and the added strength of 2.5 times that of ordinary glass. And Duralex is manufactured to withstand sudden temperature extremes from -4 degrees F to 212 degrees F making the glassware suitable for both hot and cold liquids. 

So what makes this glass stackable? The bowls are made with a thick lip which allows each bowl to line up and align with this top band. No need to worry about the lip chipping while stacking everyday, the tempering process has taken care of this. The fluting on the picardie glasses makes for easy stacking with tapered sides fitting into each other but without the surfaces sticking, grinding and locking together.

How is Duralex safe? Duralex glassware is lead free and non-leaching. It is completely hygenic as it doesn't absorb any liquids. Duralex is also safe in the event of strong shock; the glass would break into small pieces rather than jagged shards.

And also of importance: superior quality. The factory's constant quality control guarantees excellence and the built-in durability insures that Duralex glass will maintain its look for many years. Simple, satisfying and highly functional.

What are the different styles?

Picardie: The faceted tulip shapes are reminiscent of 18th century French crystal. The Picardie glass tumbler is the quintessential French bistro glass, used throughout France in cafes and is the primary tumbler in French homes. Named for the Picardy region in France.

Gigogne: Perfect for wine, water, tea and juice, the gigogne glass is virtually indestrustible. French mothers give their children this glass to use because they are so difficult to break and are resistant to chipping. The word "gigogne" is a French adjective meaning nested or stackable which this glass does perfectly! This glass along with the picardie, hold a spot in the permanent display at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. 

Chope-Unie: The "weightiest" of the sister glasses, the chope-unie glass feels solid and smooth in hand. With both a weighted base and a tempered rim, this glass is also nearly indestructible and highly resistant to chipping and scratching, making them look new years after use. 

Are you partial to a particular style?