China is a term used for crockery whether bone china (expensive and fine), earthenware (opaque and cheaper) or vitrified (metalized). Most catering crockery used nowadays tends to be vitrified earthenware, which is very durable and haven been strengthened. Crockery is also usually given rolled edges to make it more chip resistant.©
Chinaware is made of silica, soda ash, and china clay, glazed to give a fine finish. Chinaware can be found in different colors and designs which are always coated with glaze. Chinaware is more resistant to heat than glassware.
Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating selected and refined materials, which often includes clay of kaolinite clay, to high temperatures. The raw materials for porcelain, when mixed with water, form a plastic body that can be worked to a required shape before firing in a kiln at temperatures between 1200°C and 1400°C. The toughness, strength, and translucence are the characteristics of porcelain.©
Bone china is porcelain made of clay mixed with bone ash. This is very fine, hard china that is very expensive. The decorations are to be found under the glaze only. The price of bone china puts it out of reach of the majority of everyday caterers, and only a few of the top class hotels and restaurants would use it. The range of design, pattern and color is very wide and there is something to suit all occasions and situations.
Earthenware may sometimes be as thin as bone china and other porcelains, though it is not translucent and is more easily chipped. Earthenware is also less strong, less tough, and more porous than stoneware, but its low cost and easier working compensate for these deficiencies. Due to its higher porosity, earthenware must usually be glazed in order to be watertight.©
Stoneware is a hard pottery made from siliceous paste, fired at high temperature to vitrify (make glassy) the body. Stoneware is heavier and more opaque than porcelain. The usual color of fired stoneware tends to be grayish, though there may be a wide range of colors, depending on the clay. It has been produced in China since ancient times and is the forerunner of Chinese porcelain.