Duralex®: The secrets of French glass

Duralex®: The secrets of French glass

See that Duralex® glass in your hand? Well, it's (almost) the same in every canteen in France.

But that's not all. Duralex® tableware is also widely used in cafés, bars and even on some gourmet tables.

We manufacture almost 90 million glasses a year. And our tableware is exported all over the world.

So this famous glass is probably in the hand of someone celebrating a birthday in Japan right now.

Or on the counter of a cocktail bar in Brazil, or on the table of a Canadian family chatting by the fire.

This glass can even be found in museums. Some of our designs, for example, are featured in the store of New York's Museum of Modern Art.

But there's something we have to tell you... Originally, we didn't set out to make tableware at all. 😅

The secret of solidity

It all began in 1927, in the small village of La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin. It was then that the Duralex workshops® were built.

Except that, at the time, Duralex® did not yet exist. The factory manufactured carboys for distilleries.

A few years later, the factory was bought by Parfums Coty. And the gigantic furnaces now melted sand into glass bottles.

Then came 1934. The factory changed hands once again, and it was within these walls that the Saint-Gobain group invented an unprecedented process: tempered glass.

In concrete terms, the glass is heated to 700°C. It is then cooled by ventilation, making it up to 6 times more resistant.

To test the strength of this new material, engineers suspended a 1kg steel ball 1.50 metres above two glass plates.

The first, made of ordinary glass, shatters on impact. The second, made of tempered glass, managed to resist. It was at this point that the Duralex brand® was born.

Design icon

In the early days, this discovery was first used to produce lights and glass for the automotive industry.

But by 1945, we had another idea: to use tempered glass to create ultra-resistant tableware. And that's when everything changed.

Our first model, the Le Gigogne tumbler®was a worldwide phenomenon. Within a few years, it was on every table.

Since then, things have been moving fast. In 1954, the Le Picardie glass® glass left our workshops. Today, its sleek design is celebrated the world over.

Other successes have followed, such as our Manhattan cocktail glassescocktail glasses, or our Jazzrange, whose design is inspired by piano keys.

The most French of tumblers

But despite these successes, the Duralex brand® has remained true to its origins. Our glasses are still produced in La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin, in the same factory as in 1946.

All our products bear the Origine France Garantie. And 99% of the raw materials we use come from France.

In 2019, Duralex® has even been awarded the prestigious Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivantwhich rewards historic French companies for their expertise.

Between tradition and modernity, we have continued to innovate. As a result, the Duralex® workshops now produce more than 350 references of tempered glass tableware.

Life in color

For example, we were among the first to produce colored glass using the "mass tinted" technique.tinted".

How does this work? Instead of painting the surface of the glass, we incorporate natural pigments directly into the liquid glass.

When the glass solidifies, it captures the pigments. The result? The color of the glass retains its brilliance, even after years.

As you can see, we've been at your side for over 70 years. For the little moments in life, as well as the big occasions. So thank you for your confidence.

See you soon,

The Duralex team®