BLOG

Duralex logo on glass bottom

DURALEX GLASS – A PIONEERING COMPANY - 100% Made in France

Duralex began in the 1930s in Orleans, France, but the tempered table glasses they’re so famous for started in earnest in 1945. Synonymous with toughness, good design and everyday practicality, the brand name comes from the Latin motto,

“Dura Lex Sed Lex” (The law is tough, but it is the law).

The first tableware item sold by Duralex, the Gigogne tumbler, was launched in 1946. In just a few decades, it went from being standard issue in school canteens to being exhibited in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, and sold in the MoMA store in New York.

From the grandest setting to an everyday caff, the Duralex glass sits confidently on any table despite always having been inexpensive.

THE GOLDEN YEARS

After post-war reconstruction came the “thirty glorious years”. France and Europe returned to prosperity. Households and institutions wanted modern, practical, well-designed and economical products.

In the sixties and seventies, Duralex expanded and developed internationally. The brand and its products became familiar to millions of consumers worldwide.

stacking glass bowls with blue plastic lids by Duralex

THE TURNING POINT

Markets became international and along came new competitors … The 1990s were a difficult time. Saint-Gobain decided to sell Duralex to focus on its other businesses.

First owned by an Italian glass manufacturer, the company was then passed into the hands of several buyers who failed to stimulate activity.

Duralex water glass conical 33cl
Duralex lys bowls with apples and paperclips

A NEW START

In 2008, the company was taken over by a group of managing shareholders. Substantial resources were invested to save and develop the production equipment and clean up the company’s management.

Duralex returned to profit. This was invested in the modernization of production and the setting up of sustainable management systems (waste recycling, etc.) Last but not least, a project to rejuvenate the brand was introduced: a new logo, new graphic guidelines, redesigned packaging… Product innovation was also boosted with the regular design of new styles and the introduction of new colours.

TEMPERED GLASS SINCE 1945

The tempering process is what makes Duralex so tough. Glass that has been heated to around 700°C is suddenly cooled by cold air ventilation.

This treatment creates controlled stress in the glass which improves most of its physical qualities: resistance to mechanical stress and thermal shock.

Duralex glass is 2.5 times stronger than annealed glass and can withstand a thermal shock of 130°C. Duralex can go from freezer to microwave without any problem. Virtually unbreakable, if however a Duralex glass does break in your hands, there’s no risk of injury. It bursts into a multitude of blunt pieces, for your safety. This also applies to tempered glass that is used to make windscreens.

 

All Duralex products are made of Sodocalcic “crockery glass”. Unlike the glass type used in the baking and pharmaceutical industries (Borosilicate glass), the glasses are recyclable because their melting temperature (1300°C) is lower than the temperature of melting furnaces used for recycling (1400°C) and therefore compatible with them. So if you need to, you can put your Duralex glasses in the glass recycling.

Duralex Gigogne cup and saucer