How to care for your fine china

You may want to display selected pieces of your fine china in a cupboard in the dining room because it makes a lovely accent. The rest of the set will have to go on cupboard shelves. Here's how to avoid damage when storing.

How to care for your fine china

When you stack

An important part of maintaining your china is how you stack it when storing it.

  • When you stack plates and bowls, use fabric liners between them to avoid the top one scratching the one beneath it.
  • Fabric liners made for this purpose are available, but a less expensive option is to use paper plates or doilies.

Use quilted, zippered cases

Use quilted, zippered cases to keep the china that you don't use very often protected and clean.

  • An added benefit of keeping china in a case for protection is you won't have to wash it before a party when you have so many other things to do.
  • These fabric containers guard against moisture, chipping and dust.
  • China cases come in a variety of sizes and shapes to accommodate everything from cups and saucers to platters.

Mending china and porcelain

The key to successful repair of dinnerware is to match the edges of the break precisely, and to hold the pieces together tightly while the glue sets. Use a clear, slow-drying epoxy glue that allows you time to adjust the pieces to an exact fit. Always remember to work in a well-ventilated area to dissipate the glue fumes.

  1. Start by cleaning and drying the broken surfaces thoroughly, then fit the pieces together dry to determine the best order of assembly.
  2. Glue and join the pieces, one by one, then wipe off any excess glue with a cotton swab that's been dipped in an appropriate solvent.
  3. Finally, clamp and support the glued pieces, using one of the following methods.

For a plate that's broken in two

  1. For a plate that's broken in two, anchor the larger piece in a large bowl that's filled with sand, balancing it so that the piece you attach will stand without support.
  2. Then position the smaller piece in place using two pinch-type clothespins.

For a plate broken into several pieces

  1. For a plate broken into several pieces, make a mold to hold the pieces while being glued. To do so, pack modelling clay around the bottom of an unbroken plate.
  2. Peel off the clay, lay it flat and fit the pieces into the mold.

For a cup handle

  1. For a cup handle, fit the pieces together, then wrap vertical and horizontal strips of masking tape around the cup and handle to hold the seam tight.
  2. Let the repair set before removing the tape.

Following these simple steps will help you keep your entire set of fine china looking good and help you avoid replacing any costly pieces.

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