We Love…Vintage Enamelware

“Enamel kitchenware has been around since the 1700s but it wasn’t until the 1930s that it actually became fashionable. The inter war housewife loved it for it’s easy to clean, non-porous finish as well as its chic new look. As it came in a variety of bright colours such as terracotta, green, blue and white and always with an alternative coloured edging, she could really start to co-ordinate her kitchen for the first time. However, its popularity declined in the 1950s when melamine was introduced which was easier to clean.

Bread bins in light green enamel with black handles and BREAD written across the front adorned every kitchen worktop. To coordinate with this, families had flour jars and smaller matching tea, coffee and sugar canisters.

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image courtesy of Simon Whitmore for FW Media, Style Your Modern Vintage Home

Cookware also matched; with casserole tins and baking trays in cream and green. Colanders, ladels, milk jugs, deep saucepots, measuring jugs, kettles, buckets…the list is endless. The white versions became the norm in the 1940s but this period definitely favoured green.

They can still be used in the way they were intended even though they now will all have enamel loss and slight rusting. Remember they have survived a world war and have bags of character so they now deserve to be proudly displayed on your worktop.”

Words from Style Your Modern Vintage Home by Kate Beavis (me!!!)

vintage enamelware

image courtesy of Simon Whitmore for FW Media, Style Your Modern Vintage Home

vintage kitchen

Restoration Tip

The odd bit of rust on your bread bin is ok but you will want to remove rust from inside a vintage enamel kettle or coffee pot. Firstly, rub as much off with soapy water and a sponge. Rub in circles on the affected area only and use a toothbrush to get into any tricky corners. Rinse out and dry fully. Mix two tablespoons of white vinegar with two tablespoons of baking soda and spread this onto the rust and leave for three minutes. Use the cleaned toothbrush to rub the paste in a circular action. Rinse, wash and dry fully. You can repeat this if needed, leaving the mixture on for longer each time.


For more restoration tips, styling tips and buying watch outs our book is still available to buy from all major book retailers or from us at Your Vintage Life.




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