Sometimes, the best modern materials in design are those that emulate the past.
Whether for restoration or just adding a unique touch to a project, antique-style patterned glass is a fashionable accent in design and architecture.
An homage to the work of artisans from centuries ago, Flemish glass marries function and glass design without sacrificing one for the other. And despite its historic appearance, it’s easily integrated into projects rooted in a contemporary style.
What is Flemish Glass?
Like German antique glass, Flemish glass is a throwback to Old World craftsmanship.
Resembling panes made by glass artisans of the 1800s, Flemish glass has the look and textured feel of hand-blown glass. Its defining characteristic is the ripples throughout each pane -- each piece is truly one-of-a-kind.
Because of modern glass manufacturing techniques, it doesn’t have the imperfections common in vintage glass, such as seeds or air bubbles.
Flemish Glass Applications in Design
A multi-use material, Flemish glass is a popular patterned glass choice in design and restoration.
With its ripples, Flemish glass distorts the light passing through it and obscures transparency. With these elements, Flemish glass provides some privacy. While you’re still able to see general shapes through it, such as the outline of a person, you won’t be able to make out details.
Flemish glass can be made 4-5x stronger through tempering, meaning it fares better against blunt impacts or heavy use.
Leveraging its form and function, designers often use Flemish glass in:
Resource: Interested in what other patterned glass types bring to the table? Browse and compare our selection of patterned glass products:
Flemish Glass Doors
Doors aren’t just a means to get in and out of a building. More often than not, they’re also an essential part of a structure’s overall aesthetic. Versatile in both modern and historic design, doors with Flemish glass make a visual statement.
Paired with black wrought iron framing and hardware or dark-stained wood, a Flemish glass front door is crafted to be noticed or pay homage to a bygone era. In commercial glass doors, it adds uniqueness and character.
Nothing improves a cabinet’s appearance and function like glass.
Similar to doors, Flemish glass is a material that’s eye-catching. However, you won’t have to worry about ensuring everything inside a cabinet is in its right place. Because of its textured appearance, Flemish glass convolutes the view of what’s behind a cabinet door.
In office design with glass partitions, Flemish glass is a perfect option. While creating defined spaces, Flemish glass lets staff and visitors have some privacy as they go about their business while allowing light to pass through and creating a sense of openness. It also improves the aesthetic of an area -- a visually distinct glass, Flemish glass provides design flair that plain panes lack.
Flemish Glass Windows
In historic restorations, Flemish glass is a great choice. Blending current manufacturing techniques with historic appeal, Flemish glass makes old windows new again without compromising aesthetics.
New Angle Beveling is a Flemish glass supplier. Upon request, we’re able to order Flemish glass in the following dimension:
Where Flemish Glass Isn’t A Good Fit
While Flemish glass’ ability to provide privacy is a selling point, it can be a drawback. Not being able to clearly see what’s on its other side impacts the intended performance of doors and windows. In other words, if you’re looking for a glass that doesn’t impede visibility, this antique-style patterned glass shouldn’t be a consideration.
Though Flemish glass is a natural choice for historic restorations, it’s not a material that always translates well for other purposes. In projects with modern motifs, Flemish glass can look out of place if not carefully integrated into the design.
When ordering Flemish glass, discuss how you plan to use it with your supplier. A commercial glass manufacturer will let you know if Flemish glass is the best choice or point you to another suitable patterned glass type.
Flemish Glass: A Standout Among Patterned Glasses
In commercial glass design, using materials that meet multiple needs helps your customers get the most for their money. As a versatile patterned glass, Flemish panes deliver performance on more than one front. Easily integrated into projects of all sorts, Flemish glass pairs a historic aesthetic with purpose.
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(Editor's note: This article was originally published in January 2021 and was recently updated.)