cutlery

(redirected from flatware)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

cutlery,

various types of implements for cutting, preparing, and eating food. In addition to different kinds of knives and the steels to sharpen them, the term usually encompasses forks and spoons. The history of cutlery probably begins with the shell and the sharp flint used for cutting. The primitive craft of chipping flint began by improving naturally sharp edges, e.g., the chipped flint knives of the Neolithic period. Knives were made of copper and bronze when those metals came into use. Finally steel and alloys of steel have displaced other materials for the blades of instruments for cutting. The early generalized cutting instrument has been differentiated into specialized instruments of wide variety, e.g., the sword, the razor, and shears. Table knives were introduced c.1600; until then, individuals brought to the table their own knives, which served also as daggers. The penknife was originally a knife for pointing quill pens. The pocket knife, with the blade folding into the handle, was invented c.1600. The cutler's craft or industry was long marked by the successful resistance of the handicraftsman to mass production. Small shops, with from one workman to a half dozen, were characteristic. Certain localities have become known for the excellence of their cutlery. In Spain, the Toledo blade was famous when the sword was an important weapon. Solingen, in Germany, and Sheffield, in England, have been noted for their cutlery since the Middle Ages. The best knives are forged from high-carbon steel. Cheaper grades are beveled from steel bars thick in the center and tapering toward the edges or are stamped from sheets of metal. In hollow-ground blades, the sides are concave. For stainless blades, the steel is usually partly replaced by, or coated with, chromium. Scissors blades commonly are either cast in molds or stamped. Most razor blades are die-stamped.

Bibliography

See G. I. Lloyd, The Cutlery Trades (1913, repr. 1968); J. B. Himsworth, Story of Cutlery, from Flint to Stainless Steel (1954).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

cutlery

1. implements used for eating, such as knives, forks, and spoons
2. instruments used for cutting
3. the art or business of a cutler
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"Gibson continues to see incremental flatware growth but the overall market seems to be pretty flat," said David Nicklin, vice president of marketing and licensing.
categories in that channel have challenged the flatware business.
Inspired by the arts and craft movement's simplicity of design and hand-crafted attention, Fortessa's Mission 18/10 stainless steel flatware brings classic, angular forms to the table.
"Thanks to upscale designs and improved product quality, there's no longer a stigma to using stainless steel flatware at almost any meal."
When asked what drove business in 2015, Scott Bial, group president of tableware at Lifetime Brands, said, "We address all aspects of flatware including sets, place settings, open stock, etc.
"Palais" charger, Spode "Blue Colonel" dinner plate, Muirfield "Magnificence" dessert plate, Gorham "Strasbourg" sterling flatware
Sometimes it's OK to pick flatware based on whimsy.
Many of the newest plastic-handled flatware designs cater to the more sophisticated consumer and are garnering more interest from traditional and specialty retailers on a year-round basis, vendors said.
Godinger is focusing on several variations of wood-handled flatware, including pakka wood handles as well those crafted from rosewood, acacia and olive wood.
New color treatments and plating techniques; new ways of configuring expanded sets--both upstairs and down; and retail newcomers interested in the category have invigorated the business far beyond what a modest 0.8 percent increase in flatware sales would suggest.
Owen, meanwhile, has a background in the steel business and experience in running flatware factories.