At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is Patterned Glass?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

Patterned glass may be plain or colored; it contains patterns or textures. It's available in many colors, shapes and sizes. Patterned glass can be used to accent the home in different ways, such as in dishware, lamps, sinks and door panels.

A textured glass front exterior door panel can give an interesting, elegant look to a home. There are styles available to suit all types of house exteriors. For example, some patterned glass front door panels feature rippled glass in a straight-lined black door frame that suits contemporary homes. For an older character home, an elegant white door with an oval panel of etched glass can be appealing. Etched glass has a white, stenciled-looking pattern that could be in any type of design, such as graphic stripes or detailed flowers.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Vessel sinks are often made of beautifully patterned glass that can add a lot of style to a bathroom. A vessel sink is bowl-shaped and mounted above a bathroom counter top. It may be clear or in one or more transparent colors. Some vessel sinks feature patterns made with different colors of glass blended or swirled together for an art glass effect.

Painted glass lamps are often patterned with flower and leaf designs. Many of these are Victorian-style lamps with double glass shades hand-painted with roses and leaves. The shades are usually globe shaped. The look of these delicate glass lamps suits antique or traditional furniture.

Antique pattern glass is popular with collectors. Early American Patterned Glass (EAPG) is an example of what many collectors look for in antique stores, auctions and estate sales. The lace-like texture of EAPG dates back to the 1820s and 1830s in the United States. Unlike the mouth blown glass of Italy, the lacy technique was made with a pressed pattern. Pressed pattern glass was created by human-operated machines in glass manufacturing companies located mostly in the eastern United States.

Patterned window glass is available for custom ordering through fabrication companies. Different possibilities from etched to textured patterns can replace traditional clear glass windows. Checks, swirls, ripples and many other patterns used to texture glass can give style to plain windows.

In addition to window applications, patterned glass panels can be used as room dividers. Textured glass panels can divide open concept home interiors such as lofts into separate living areas while still letting light through. Depending on the space as well as the homeowner's taste, the patterned glass panels may be mounted into frames or suspended from the ceiling by stainless steel cables or chains.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


It really catches my eye if a house has a really nice front door with something unique for the glass. It doesn't have to be a large piece of glass either, I've seen some people with doors that just had a display of a local bird etched into a small piece of glass and that really looked elegant.

It does depend on the kind of house, but I think if you've got a dark corridor leading from the front door, it can also help to lighten it up naturally.


@indigomoth - You also have to be careful because, if I'm not wrong, I think some kinds of patterned glass isn't really all that suitable for making hand crafted stained glass.

Anything that has already been etched, for example, might break too easily.

And in some cases, I think patterned glass might just be too much for a stained glass pattern. I mean, you don't want to make it garish with too many colors and too much movement. Sometimes it's better to just choose a couple of different patterns, or even just one and stick to that, particularly if you're making something for home decor.


I took a class once on making stained glass crafts and it was really wonderful how many different kinds of patterned glass were available.

They tried to make sure that we would only use plain clear glass for the first few classes so that we could get used to making our cuts and not feel inhibited by the extra cost of colored and patterned glass.

But they showed us a really gorgeous catalog that listed all the possibilities when we were more advanced. I'm sure that you could look one up online now.

I mean, the really beautiful ones with the mixes of several swirls of color are very expensive, and not something I'd attempt to use without knowing exactly what I was going to do. But it's nice to dream about it!

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Man with hands on his hips
      Man with hands on his hips