Coloured or stained glass used to be very popular – and it was invented in 1150 AD. This style of glass was often used within churches and other places of importance as a way to add embellishments to the architecture. Back then it was fairly challenging to permanently colour glass, but these days (and thanks in no small part to the wide variety of dyes and stains), any good glazier worth his weight in glass could colour it effectively.
What does the dying process involved?
There are two main processes of dying glass. The first is known as staining and the second involves advanced lamination. In the former instance it can be very difficult to achieve a successful glass repair should any damage occur; mainly due to the fact that the colour will run all the way through the panel or piece.
In order to stain glass properly, most glass smiths will begin by extracting the silica from sand grains and then applying the dye directly. Alternatively the dye can be applied to the glass while it is still drying, to allow it to absorb into the atoms. When a single colour is used, repeat applications can be applied to guarantee even coverage – but once hardened the hue can be very difficult to dull or remove.
A more preferred (and modern) method of colouring glass is by applying a layer of lamination. Even if the glass panel itself is transparent, by heating colour onto its surface it can be possible to obtain the desired result. Laminated panels are also very easy to clean, but they can be prone to peeling from time to time. This is why it can be a good idea to hire a glass maintenance expert to help with the evaluation of the lamination and if any issues are spotted, they can typically be treated there and then.
Both methods are effective ways of enjoying the benefits of tinted and coloured glass. When done properly the pieces can provide shade, whilst looking attractive. There’s a reason why many old buildings used to use this style of glass, as well as leadlight – and that’s because they can be easy to look after and offer a range of aesthetic properties that homes of varying styles can enjoy.