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What is Cumbria Crystal?
Cumbria Crystal produces some of the highest quality, hand-blown and cut crystal in the world. The company is also known as the last producer of luxury English lead crystal in the United Kingdom. Each one of its pieces, whether it be a whisky tumbler, decanter or wine glass, is made using only traditional glassmaking techniques, meaning every part of the creative process is carried out by the hand of skilled artisans.
History of Cumbria Crystal
Cumbria Crystal was founded in 1976, by Lord and Lady Cavendish. The family is one of the most influential aristocrats in England. The Cavendish’s estate is located near the company’s base in Ulverston, a small town in the English Lake District, where all aspects of its traditional glassmaking process continue to be carried out.
Since its beginning, the company has prided itself on producing hand-blown and cut crystalware using techniques that have remained unchanged for decades. While the hand-crafted nature of its pieces leaves room for discrepancies, making every item in its collections unique, it also ensures a consistent high quality and premium status for all designs.
Every move made by the company fits its ambitions to produce only the highest quality hand-blown and cut crystal in the world. As a result, its pieces are present in every British Embassy and the homes of many royals and the social elite. Designs have also featured on TV and movie screens to help create a quintessential British representation in the likes of James Bond films and popular period dramas, such as Downton Abbey.
Over the years, Cumbria Crystal has collaborated with fellow luxury brands to solidify its premium status. Recently, this has included Hamilton & Inches, whereby both teams combined their skills and creativity to produce the coveted Thistle collection.
Types of Cumbria Crystal glasses
Each Cumbria Crystal glass has been hand-blown and cut by the company’s skilled craftspeople, so you can be sure of the premium quality and unique character of any piece you choose. The various cuts and designs are also guaranteed to add a touch of luxury to your dinner table. Buy a set, or individual pieces, to create a dinnerware style that is right for you.
How are Cumbria Crystal glasses made?
All Cumbria Crystal glasses are made using traditional glassmaking and cutting techniques. Glasses are blown and cut by hand by the company’s small in-house team of skilled craftspeople. Once raw materials arrive at the company’s Lake District site, the process tends to involve the lead glass first being melted, then blown, processed, marked, diamond cut, polished, and inspected at least five times. In all, it takes around nine individuals to create just one piece, and between 10-18 days to complete. No part of the process is subcontracted.
How to take care of Cumbria Crystal
When investing in a piece or set of Cumbria Crystal items, it is important that you are aware of how pieces should be cleaned and cared for to ensure a long life and protected quality. Here are some things to keep in mind when caring for your Cumbria Crystal items:
- Hand wash your crystal with warm water, a soft sponge and mild detergent as soon as possible after use. Using scouring pads or course brushes can scratch the crystal.
- Suddenly switching between temperatures during washing can crack the crystal.
- No crystal item in entirely dishwasher safe. Some may be more resistant to the harsh chemicals and temperatures, but over time, all will begin to deteriorate. If you do wish to use a dishwasher to clean your crystal, we recommend running a separate cycle at 40°C using no detergent or gentle care dishwasher tablets.
- Preventing residue deposits from drying on the crystal can make cleaning easier. Wash as soon as possible after use, or leave pieces filled with water overnight.
- Use a microfiber cloth to dry and polish your crystal before storing. When drying or polishing, ensure items are held gently in your palm. For wine or champagne glasses, avoid holding at the foot or stem as these are the weakest parts.
- Do not store your crystal glasses upside down, unless they are placed on a soft cloth as their rims are delicate. Also ensure items are not touching one another, as this can also result in chips and cracks if knocked.
What makes Cumbria Crystal glasses unique?
Cumbria Crystal glassware is unique due to its hand-crafted nature and the traditional processes which are used to create each piece. Unlike many other crystalware producers today, Cumbria Crystal shuns the use of automation, and puts a great level of care and attention into every item.
Cumbria Crystal glasses are made from the highest quality lead crystal. This enables items to possess the best possible sparkle and weight for a luxurious look and feel.
The brand and its high quality pieces also carry with them a great deal of history and heritage. Its collections epitomise the best of British crystal manufacture, which is why they are highly sought after among some of the country’s and culture’s most significant bodies.