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How are Stained Glass Windows Made?

How are Stained Glass Windows Made?

Stained glass windows have been used since the 7th century and were originally used in churches and monasteries to retell biblical stories. Today they are still being used to decorate historic buildings and places of worship, but in addition, stained glass designs have made their way into modern home interiors and commercial buildings.

Stained glass windows are crafted using small pieces of coloured glass. The colour is achieved by adding a metallic oxide to the glass, while it is in a molten state. The molten glass is then rolled into thin sheets and cooled.
Stained glass colours can also be achieved by painting onto the glass and then fusing the paint using a kiln.

The first step in making a stained glass window is to take measurements of the aperture and discuss the design and colours. A detailed drawing of the design, known as a ‘cartoon’ is then created. This drawing includes the cut lines and the glass colours.

A ‘pattern’ is then produced, using the cartoon, which can be cut up and used as stencil shapes.
The pieces of glass are then hand-cut using a cutting wheel or a sharp-edged hammer.

These small pieces of stained glass are arranged to create the overall design and held together using strips of lead. The lead joints are soldered on both sides and then the entire window is waterproofed using specialist window cement which also blackens and strengthens the panel and is then polished for the final finish.

The finished stained glass window is ready for fitting. Here at The Stained Glass Window Company, we offer a specialised fitting service, or alternatively we can safely and securely package your window and have it sent directly to you.