20 Different Types of Stained Glass

March 3, 2016

 20 Different types of Stained Glass



There are lots of different types and styles of stained glass however all glass consists primarily of silica sand with small amounts of soda ash and lime. Considered by some as a super cooled liquid, glass looks like a solid when it’s in its rigid state but doesn’t have the internal crystalline structure of solids.

Sheets of stained glass are generally referred to as ‘Art Glass’ and are predominantly produced in Europe and the United States.

Art Glass comes in countless colour and texture combinations to ensure you’re able to achieve your creative vision with your stained glass project.


Here are 20 different types of stained glass:



Handmade using glassblowing techniques; characterized by rich colouring, translucency, and surface striations; varies in colour and uniformity and has trapped air pockets and bubbles


Machine-made, translucent, of a single color, consistent thickness, with surface striations.


Smooth on one side, textured on the other; 4mm to 6mm thick; usually clear; some patterns available in bronze or amber; can be substituted for clear float glass in windows, doors, room dividers, sidelights, etc.


Translucent, often a single colour; machine rolled or mouth blown.


Full-antique glass that is dipped in cool water causing exterior layer of glass to “crack” forming surface alligator-like pattern.


Antique glass; has second colour layer on top of base colour which can be exposed by sandblasting or acid etching away parts of the top layer to create design.

Fractures and streamers

“Confetti” glass has shards of coloured glass and thin glass rods added to a clear or opal base sheet—(used by Tiffany to represent distant foliage in window panels and for lamps).

Glue Chip

Animal hide glue is applied to cathedral glass that has been sandblasted on one side, then placed in warming oven; as glue dries, it tears away flakes of glass from sheet’s surface, creating a pattern.


Cathedral or opalescent glass; surface coated with ultra-thin layer of metallic salts during manufacturing to produce shimmering finish.


Sheets of clear float glass and coloured art glass (usually semi~ antique) coated with reflective silver backing to create mirror.


Has milky, luminesce appearance; combination of 2 or more tones or colours; often used in stained glass lamp shades.


Transmits little light; single colour or 2 or more colours swirled together; popular choice for creating stained glass mosaics.

Ring mottled

Hand-cast opalescent glass has hazy surface covering small circular patterns within the glass; used in glass mosaics, Tiffany-style lamp shades, and nature theme window panels.


Cathedral glass with smooth surface and small air bubbles dispersed throughout.


Swirls of 2 or more colours mixed but not blended together.


Ripple, hammered, granite, crystal ice, herringbone, ribbed, fibroid, moss, flemish, muffle, and cube textures made by art glass manufacturers.


Angled border approximately 1/2 in wide is ground and polished on the topside edges of a clear glass piece to refract light.


Gem-like pieces of pressed glass, usually faceted; available in a selection of shapes and colours

Glass nuggets

Small pieces of glass, irregular in shape and size, sometimes called globs.


Translucent circular pieces of glass made by spinning molten glass on the end of a glassblower’s punty rod.

There you have it, 20 types of stained glass! Arrange a visit the George W. Shannon Design studio to see some of these in person!

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