Duralex drinking glasses have long been known for their superior strength and durability and classic looks. Still manufactured in La Chapelle Saint-Mesmin in France, Duralex glassware today maintains the same standard and quality they possessed since they were first manufactured in 1945. In fact, Duralex began making glassware in the 1930’s and over a few years, the company pioneered the technology of tempered glass, the first attempt at applying the process to the manufacture of tableware. It was in 1945 that the Duralex trademark was registered, and this is the date you will see on the stamp on the bottom of a Duralex glass.
The 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s were years of expansion for Duralex, with households in France and the rest of Europe looking to equip themselves with modern products and practises, with a focus also on aesthetics and economy. Throughout this time, the Duralex brand and its products became familiar to millions of consumers worldwide.
The turn of the 1990’s brought internationalisation of new markets and stiff competition for Duralex and Saint Gobain, who owned Duralex, decided to sell it on to concentrate on other businesses. Over the years, we have heard numerous reports of the Duralex factory closing its doors forever and ceasing to manufacture these world famous, much loved drinking glasses. Stocks had dwindled and you would have to hunt high and low to find precious Duralex, and possibly pay higher prices as supplies decreased. Luckily as they’re triple tempered and extra strong, they would be worth the higher price because they’d last so long!
Each time the factory has shut its doors and said its “final” goodbye, time passes, and eventually the ever increasing popularity and demand for Duralex is recognised and somebody comes along to save the day and re open the factory, but all owners since Saint Gobain seemed to fail to really stimulate activity. Until 2008, that is.
In 2008 the Duralex company was taken over by a shareholders group who have invested significant resources to save the brand. These resources have been used in all areas to bring the factory into the 21st century and really get the most out of the brand. Modernisation of production techniques, better management, mechanisms for sustainable management, and site rejuvenation are all areas which have been addressed and the Duralex company is finally turning a profit again. Despite the fact that they are still producing the timeless classics, Duralex are now also looking toward innovation and development and regularly launching new models and more colours, to keep the brand fresh and up to date.
The classic and best known Duralex glassware shapes are the Picardie, the Prisme and the Gigogne. The Picardie glass, which is available in a range of sizes, is often fondly remembered as a drinking glass you may have seen in school, especially in Europe. The Prisme is a little more unusual yet by no means less beautiful, and the Gigogne is a very simple yet highly stylish shape which has proved incredibly popular.
At Silver Mushroom Ltd, we have worked closely with Le-Tom, online retailers of Duralex and, dare we say it, experts on the brand, for several years and we have had small amounts of Duralex stock for sale. In recent months, Le Tom have made the decision to move away from online retailing and into other fields, leaving behind a hole in the UK Duralex market. As their friends and co workers, we have been lucky enough to acquire their remaining stock and contacts at Duralex with a view to moving forward with the brand ourselves. We are very pleased to now be able to offer a variety of sizes and colours in each of the classic Picardie, Prisme and Gigogne shapes. Although Le Tom will no doubt be sorely missed, we will do our best to live up to their fantastic reputation and service and hope to continue to expand our Duralex range in years to come, as the factory grows and develops.
To have a look at our current Duralex range, just go to our Drinkware section by clicking here.