What different types of Flatware are available?
Sterling is made of 92.5% pure silver and an alloy, usually copper for added strength. If a piece meets these criteria it will be stamped with the word “sterling” thus guaranteeing its authenticity. Sterling silver is expensive but makes the most elegant and formal flatware. Sterling has a warmer glow than stainless and may require occasional polishing. When being stored for long periods pieces should be
kept in felt pouches to prevent scratches or tarnish.
Most everyday flatware is stainless steel. It does not rust, tarnish, chip or wear out. To make stainless steel flatware chromium is added to steel for strength as well as rust and stain resistance. Nickel is also added to the steel for its brilliance and lasting finish. Compared to other metals, stainless
steel is particularly resistant to rust and discolouration because the oxide film in the metal absorbs common forms of discolouration. While stainless steel certainly stains less it is not completely stain proof.
Pewter is prized for its strength and durability. It is sought by collectors for their rustic feel and beautiful patina. Pewter does not require polishing.
What should I consider when selecting a flatware collection?
Five piece place settings consist of a dinner knife, dinner fork, salad fork tablespoon and teaspoon. Most people have a casual collection for everyday use (usually stainless steel) and one formal collection (usually sterling or silver plated). When determining what serving pieces you may need consider one serving fork and knife, one salad serving set, one carving set, one set of steak knives on cake server.
Stainless steel flatware is dishwasher safe. To clean silver plate and sterling we suggest the following recipe:
Boil a pot of water. Line a pan with aluminium foil. Place the flatware pieces in the pan on nest to the other. Pour the boiling water over the flatware. Add a few tablespoons of baking soda to the pan. When the solution bubbles up the tarnish will move from the flatware to the aluminium foil.