The general term used to describe the set of dishes, serving pieces and other utensils needed for serving and eating food is dinnerware. Dinnerware is comprised of:-

  • Dish sets
  • Tumblers
  • Serving pieces
  • Plates and
  • Bowls

Without proper dinnerware, a table setting is incomplete. A proper table setting is the focal point of a meal. With the living standard going up higher everyday, people no longer bring out the china ware only for guests. Many china ware manufacturers have invented new varieties of porcelain or china ware which are chip and stain resistant. Everyday dining wares double up as “fancy china”. They can be used regularly for long periods of time without losing their glaze or color. Dinnerware is a broad term.


It can be broken up into several categories:-

  • Tableware: Tableware includes dishes, glassware and cutlery.
  • Flatware: They include plates and cutlery
  • Hollowware: They are comprised of bowls and pitchers. Hollowware is mostly metal.
  • Glassware: This includes glass tumblers, goblets or other table items that are made of glass. Glassware primarily consists of all drinking vessels unless the whole dinner set is made of glass. Modern dinnerware can be made of earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, china, glass, plastic or melamine. For casual occasions, disposable dinnerware or lightweight plastics are used at times.
Types of Dishes:

Dishes include plates, bowls, teacups, serving dishes, sugar bowls and jugs. Each of these items can be further divided to represent various types of dinnerware depending upon their purpose.


plates are concave shaped vessels with flat bottoms. Food is served on plates and eaten from there. Plates are available in different sizes. Small plates used for placing cups and mugs are known as saucers. Slightly larger plates are known as bread and butter plates. They are used for serving bread with butter, as the name implies. But at times they are used as side dishes or to serve salads. Big plates used for eating are dinner plates. Large sized plates or platters are used to carry and distribute food. Plates may be made of bone china, ceramic, porcelain, stoneware, plastic or glass. Novelty plates made of wood or stone are also available, but they are more of decorative items rather than utility pieces. Another kind of plate is a charger plate. Charger plates are slightly larger than dinner plates. Charger plates are used for formal settings. They are placed at place settings and removed once the main entree is served. All first courses are placed directly on the charger plates.


Bowls are open topped containers used for serving or storing food. Bowls vary in size, depending on their use. Punch bowls or salad bowls are large and deep bottomed since they are meant for serving many people at once. Bowls used for individual servings are small and shallow. Soup bowls are round with artwork on them. Soup bowls come with matching thick, broad spoons. Small bowls are used as tea cups in China and Japan. Bowls are also used for serving desserts like ice creams, custards or fruit salads.


Teacups are porcelain cups with handles. They come in sets with matching saucers, milk jugs and sugar bowls. Teacups are also used for serving coffee. Teacups are not always part of dinnerware. They can be bought as individual sets also. The small plates used for resting teacups are known as saucers. Saucers catch overflows, drips or splashes. They are also used to keep spoons used to stir sugar or milk/cream in the drink.

Sugar bowls:

Sugar bowls are small shallow bowls used for holding sugar cubes or powdered sugar. Jugs:

Jugs in dinnerware are of two types. Small open topped jugs for holding milk or cream. They are also known as creamers. Larger jugs are used to hold and pour water. These generally have lids which can be held open while pouring.

Following are the potential manufacturers, suppliers and exporters of Crafts Items: