Signature Housewares designs, imports, and distributes ceramic tableware and kitchenware. Our primary markets are the United States, Canada and the UK. Our goal in business is to develop fashionable and functional product that combines value and quality, and market it with honesty and integrity. The last few months has brought numerous issues concerning the safety of products made in China ranging from pet food to tires to toys. Food safety, as well as general product safety as it relates to human handling or use of these products, has been called into question. Some consumers are understandably concerned about products in China I want to address that issue now. All Signature Housewares products meet FDA and California Proposition 65 standards as they relate to food safety. Our products are independently tested for both standards since 1995 and are completely safe for any type of food usage. All categories of our product line meet these standards, including pet bowls, so you can confidently use and sell our products knowing that they are stringently tested to comply with FDA and Proposition 65 standards
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Signature has a growing account base in the United States with over 1,200 active retail customers. Our products can be found in a wide variety of retailers, and the line ranges from trendy to basic and is inspired by current and future trends that we think will translate well into tableware and kitchenware.
Since there is virtually no ceramic production available to us domestically we import product primarily from China. All of our factories are large suppliers to the world markets of ceramic tableware and kitchenware and have an assortment of capabilities that offer every conceivable product. We have worked hard to identify factories that produce quality product and operate with principle and integrity.
Almost all dinnerware is made from ceramic or glass.
Ceramic – any of various hard, brittle materials made by firing a non-metallic mineral, such as clay.
The common grades of ceramic used for modern tableware are earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Each grade of ceramic is distinguished by the clay used to form the product and the firing temperature reached in the kiln to harden the product. The U.S. Customs Department classifies tableware based on two tests – water absorption and light translucency. Generally speaking, lower firing temperatures can be equated with less density, less resistance to permeation, and less resistance to cracking and chipping. Practically speaking, both stoneware and porcelain are so dense and fired at high enough temperature (over 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit) that water permeation is not a problem, and both grades, being high-fired ceramics, are resistant to cracking and chipping.
The following section offers more information on each grade of ceramic:
Earthenware – any pottery body which, when fired, has a porosity of more than five percent. This usually means ware fired below 2,012 Fahrenheit. Due to the lower firing temperature, earthenware bodies are not as dense as a high-fired ceramic body, have higher porosity, and are not as durable and resistant to chipping as a high-fired body. On the other hand, they are lighter in weight due to less density, and can be decorated with brighter-colored glazes, due to the lower firing temperatures.
Stoneware – a hard, strong, vitrified ware, usually fired above 2,100 Fahrenheit, that contains a high percentage of clay (usually 90%) and a low percentage of non-clay materials. Due to the makeup of the clay and firing temperature, stoneware is a dense, strong, and durable ceramic that is especially appropriate for functional ware because it stands up well to constant use and frequent cleaning.
Porcelain – true porcelains use a combination of pure white clay and an equal amount of non-clay material (silica and feldspars), are fired above 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit, and are translucent where thin. It is a very hard and dense ware after firing. Porcelaneous is a term used to refer to a grade of ceramic between stoneware and true porcelain that uses less non-clay material (about 30% versus 50% for true porcelains) and is commonly used for tableware. Porcelaneous may look like true porcelain, but is not translucent where thin. Both re high-fired, dense, hard, and very durable for everyday use.