A Beginner’s Guide to Leaded Glass Windows30th November 2022
Windows are not only a functional element of architecture but a reflection of art and design trends. Historically, buildings used to reflect the places and times they belonged in. Variations in local style came through cultural exchanges, which often occurred through commercial routes.
As a result, there can be significant variation in home design and architecture trends. Windows, for example, can be very different in size, finish, and framing. Intricately ornate windows can also become works of art, such as stained or leaded glass windows. In this post, we explore the origins of leaded glass and how to care for these highly custom windows.
What is Leaded Glass?
Leaded glass is very similar to stained glass, which most people are familiar with. The glass is cut into small pieces then assembled using came sections. Came is a flexible yet durable metal bar that acts like an insert, holding glass pieces together and providing a reliable structure.
The designs for leaded glass vary depending on the era that they’re from. They can take on organic, curvy Art Deco shapes, minimal geometric designs or modernistic styles.
Is Leaded Glass Hazardous?
You might reasonably have some concerns about having lead in your home as it's a toxic metal. However, manufacturers rarely use lead in the production of leaded windows anymore. Modern leaded windows often use synthetic materials or harmless metals that will not affect the residents.
Lead poisoning is caused by ingesting lead or inhaling lead dust. This metal can oxidize over time, forming a hazardous powdery residue. If you have a vintage or antique leaded glass piece in your home, ensure that you keep it in good shape and don't try to restore it on your own to avoid ingesting or inhaling lead dust.
Leaded Glass Vs. Stained Glass
The main difference between leaded glass and stained glass is that leaded glass is not colored. The term leaded comes from the fact that manufacturers historically used lead as came due to its flexibility.
How to Clean Leaded Glass
Here are a few tips to keep your leaded glass pieces in their best shape. The key is gentle cleaning, as these decorative windows are more delicate, especially so for vintage pieces. Always start with the least invasive method.
The Rundown on Rags
We recommend cleaning leaded windows with rags that don't leave lint behind. Microfiber rags are the best solution for window cleaning as they are highly absorbent and yet soft enough for decorative windows.
Soaps and Cleaning Solutions
Use mild detergents for stained or leaded glass. If possible, try cleaning only with purified water, as it leaves no streaks and is gentle on the came binding and glass panels.
Tools to Use
Avoid using a scraper on the surface, even if your leaded glass windows are grimy. Opt instead for nylon brushes, soft rags and PH-neutral mild detergents to remove dirt.
Special Glass Deserves Special Care
The right window cleaning supplies are crucial for homeowners who want to enhance their homes with eye-catching leaded glass. Get all your window cleaning supplies from Window Cleaning Online and keep your windows pristine for years to come.