In the good old days traditional stained glass
was manufactured using small pieces of glass fixed together
a lead strip
and soldered to keep the
glass pieces together. Although this procedure is sometimes still
used today, the modern overlay stained glass is a much more popular
and versatile product.
The door set (pictured right) was created for a client in Bedford and we manufactured it using
our traditional materials to create an authentic looking stained glass door
benefits of using toughened glass double glazed sealed units with excellent energy saving properties.
You can see more images and a description of the job by reading this
As mentioned above, one big advantage that Overlay Stained Glass has over the traditional method is that toughened glass can be used to create beautiful glass designs along with
lead strip and transparent or marbled overlay colours. These durable and attractive materials produce a
beautiful effect that lasts and when done correctly, it can be unrecognisable
from the traditional stained glass method. When using natural lead strip, our decorative glass artists
can even solder the joints and age the lead to
the glass that old
stained glass look.
Using Minster glass as the decorative leaf of the double glazed sealed unit gives the panel that 'mottled' appearance that some people say is a lot more attractive than the flat modern and shiny look of standard clear glass.
As you can see by this picture of this 1930's glass design, the coloured areas of the glass are not flat and all of the colours are textured the same as the clear areas of the design.
Other textured glass patterns can also be used to create leaded glass panels and popular glass patterns include Stippolyte glass and Flemish glass from our Frosted Glass page. All textures can be used as the 'backing glass' to the double glazed unit but only a few textures can actually be used to create the decorative leaf of the sealed unit. Not only does toughened glass have a lot of security benefits, using toughened glass also helps preserve the costly leaded glass design.
Watch a short video showing some Leaded Glass examples...
are the benefits of Overlay Stained Glass?
The modern procedure has many advantages over the
original stained glass technique. Energy saving is a big concern
in todays world and with the stained glass design being manufactured
as a stained glass overlay onto a single sheet of glass, this
reduces the possibility of the cold weather coming into the
home through the joints of the design. Modern stained glass
can also be applied directly onto energy saving Pilkington
K Glass and this glass is now a building regulations
requirement for every new window and door installation.
and security are another advantage with the modern day stained
glass technique. Applying the design directly onto toughened
glass provides long lasting and secure decorative
the past people have paid thousands of pounds for the old
stained glass product only to find that small coloured sections
of the design have cracked within weeks. This cannot happen
with our product.
There are literally hundreds of overlay
colours to choose from for use in the modern day stained
glass and most colours can be combined with a frosted
overlay (as above) to create an even larger range of colours and textures.
Lead strip also comes in many colours and effects with the old favourite
through the 80's and 90's being natural lead colour. Today
almost every job we create is manufactured using antique lead
which is a dark brown or almost black in colour. Leadbitter Glass
now offers antique lead on request but other lead colours such
as natural, silver and gold can also be used. Soldered joints on the lead strips help achieve that 'traditional' feel to the glass design and this finish can be requested for any leaded glass panel that we create.
You can see the different Lead strips available in our Leaded Glass section.
The Stained Glass Roundels pictured above are manufactured using coloured glass and they are a beautiful modern day reproduction of the popular glass features that are included in many traditional door designs from the Victorian and Edwardian era's. Our 60mm diameter glass Roundels are available in red, yellow, blue, green and clear glass.
Read our section on Overlay
Stained Glass colours to find
out why this modern technique is now the market leader in
decorative leaded glass windows throughout the UK.