Flatware is a generic term which encompasses table utensils that are used for the purpose of eating and serving food. These include spoons, forks, knives, plates all of which are relatively flat in structure. Flatware Sets can lend a gleam to any table and are available in three main varieties.
Sterling Silver Flatware
Sterling silver flatware is made up of alloys of silver and contains a minimum of 92.5% pure silver while copper makes up the rest. Since Sterling flatware made exclusively of silver might bend when you use it to poke hard foods, the element of copper is added to lend strength to the Sterling flatware. Sterling silver flatware is one among the most expensive of all the metal alloys. Silver was first used in the production of Sterling flatware in the 1800's. Towards the end of the Victorian era, silversmiths created gorgeous and elaborate designs in sterling silver flatware. Silver is highly flexible in nature. Therefore it is possible to create unique designs in sterling silver flatware. For over the top designs you need not look further that sterling silver flatware. Sterling silver flatware offers you the advantage of owning exclusive pieces of flatware like lemon forks, ice cream forks, chocolate spoon and asparagus tongs. The expensive nature of Sterling silver flatware also enables it to be a valuable heirloom. So when you invest in one, be assured that you can pass it on to future generations.
Stainless steel flatware
Stainless is an alloy that is produced with raw materials that includes limestone, coke, chromium, nickel and iron ore. Steel Flatware is ideal for everyday use and are found in most households. This type of flatware sets boasts of a few features that can dictate its cost. These features can help in making the experience of eating and dining more pleasurable.
Finish of stainless steel flatwareHigh quality steel flatware sport fork tines that are rounded and smooth around the edges. The bowls of the spoons are also made in a similar design.
Weight of steel flatwaresteel flatware that is of a superior quality is relatively heavier than their cheaper cousins irrespective of whether the flatware is stamped or forged. Thus the flatware will not bend even when forced into hard foods.
Design of steel flatwareThe superior quality of steel flatware shows through in its thoughtful designs. It is all about how the fork tines feel in your mouth, the depth of the spoon bowls and the balance of the handles.
Knife blade of steel flatwareThe knife blade in high quality sterling flatware is made with high carbon steel and inserted into the handle to fashion a sleek cutting device. If a knife blade is serrated it is an indicator of the low quality of construction since only blades which are not good for cutting on their own are serrated.
Silver plated flatware
Silver plated flatware is made up of a base metal that has been electroplated with silver. These base metals can include brass, steel and copper. The extremely thin silver plating is measured in microns. This measure is also an indicator of the quality of the flatware sets. The expensive versions of silver plated flatware have about 60 microns of silver plating while the cheaper ones have 2-5 microns of plating. These types of flatware made their maiden appearance in the middle of the nineteenth century. Silver plated flatware was made by manufacturers in a bid to offer an inexpensive alternative to the sterling silver flatware. Unlike the sterling silver versions, the silver plated flatware has no inherent value. Nevertheless it could be a valuable addition to the booty of a flatware collector as long as the silver plating is intact.
Classical flatware is perfect for tables with a formal type of setting. Since these types of flatware have designs that are elegant and timeless you can be sure that your flatware will always be in sync with the times.
Continental flatware is named as such because of its designs that rely on European proportions. These types of flatware are longer and larger than conventional American flatware. The continental flatware is also ideal for a formal setting.
Handcrafted flatware is naturally a bit on the expensive side. These types of flatware often have organic patterns and are the result of meticulous craftsmanship. If you want to lend a stunning look to your table the handcrafted flatware would be a great choice.
Modern flatware is constructed with a contemporary look in mind. These are singular and elaborate in design and add panache to any table.
As the name very lucidly suggests this flatware is designed for the rigors of everyday use. This flatware is informal in design yet looks appealing.