Broad sheet

Broad sheet is a type of hand-blown glass. It is made by blowing molten glass into an elongated balloon shape with a blowpipe. Then, while the glass is still hot, the ends are cut off and the resulting cylinder is split with shears and flattened on an iron plate. (This is the forerunner of the cylinder process). The quality of broad sheet glass is not good, with many imperfections. Due to the relatively small sizes blown, broad sheet was typically made into leadlights.

Other methods for making hand-blown glass included blown plate, crown glass, polished plate and cylinder blown sheet. These methods of manufacture lasted at least until the end of the 19th Century. The early 20th century marks the move away from hand-blown to machine manufactured glass such as rolled plate, machine drawn cylinder sheet, flat drawn sheet, single and twin ground polished plate and float glass.

According to the website of the London Crown Glass Company, broad sheet glass was first made in the UK in Sussex in 1226 C.E. This glass was of poor quality and fairly opaque. Manufacture slowly decreased and ceased by the early 16th Century. French glassmakers and others were making broad sheet glass earlier than this.


  1. Hand-blown glass: manufacturing process. London Crown Glass Company. Retrieved on December 30., 2005.

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