Overlay Stained Glass

Stained Glass For Today’s World

Originally stained glass was manufactured using small pieces of glass fixed together with a ‘H’ lead strip. The lead was then soldered so the glass would stay together. Think of it like a jigsaw being held up vertically, it is never going to be very durable. Although this procedure is sometimes still used today, modern Overlay Stained Glass is a more popular and versatile product.

Our Overlay Stained Glass (or Leaded Glass as we call it) is created by applying lead strips to both sides of a sheet of toughened safety glass. Overlay Stained Glass Colours are located on one side of the glass under the leaded strips. This glass can be supplied as single glazed toughened glass or a double glazed unit. The traditional ‘jigsaw’ method cannot be supplied like this because it is made using small fragile pieces.

Victorian Stained GlassThis door set was created for a client in Bedford and we manufactured it using Overlay Stained Glass. We used standard, natural lead to give it that authentic look. We created the design using toughened safety glass because the glass was for a door. The job was supplied as double glazed sealed units with excellent energy saving properties. You can see more images and a description of the job by reading this article.

New But Old

As mentioned above, one big advantage that our Leaded Glass has over the traditional method is that toughened glass can be used. Plain colours, marbled colours and textures can be used along with soldered lead. These durable and attractive materials produce a beautiful effect that lasts and when done correctly, it can be unrecognisable from the traditional stained glass method.

Overlay Stained Glass

Created using Minster glass

When using natural lead strip, our decorative glass artists can solder the joints and age the lead to give the glass that old stained glass look. Soldered leadwork costs extra so please request a quote for this. Using Minster glass as the decorative leaf of the double glazed sealed unit gives the panel that old appearance.

As you can see by the picture of this 1930’s glass design, the coloured areas of the glass aren’t flat. All of the colours are textured the same as the colourless areas of the design. This glass is called Minster glass and it is very popular with our customers.

Other textured glass patterns can also be used to create leaded glass panels. Stippolyte glass and Flemish glass can be used to create these leaded panels. All other textures can be used as the ‘backing glass’ to the double glazed unit. Toughened glass obviously has security benefits but it is also a great glass to use when creating expensive designs.

Watch a short video showing some Leaded Glass examples…

The Many Advantages Of Overlay Stained Glass

Stained Glass RoundelThe modern procedure has many advantages over the older stained glass technique. Energy saving is a big concern in todays world and with the stained glass design being manufactured as a stained glass overlay onto a solid sheet of toughened glass, this reduces the possibility of the cold weather coming into the home through the joints of the design.

Our designs can also be applied directly onto energy saving Pilkington K Glass. This special glass is now a building regulations requirement for every new window and door installation. We supply Pilkington K glass on the rear face of every sealed unit we supply.

Durability and security are another advantage with this modern day stained glass technique. Applying the design directly onto toughened glass provides long lasting and secure decorative glass. People have paid a lot for the old stained glass product but it didn’t always stand the test of time. Small coloured sections of a traditional ‘jigsaw’ style panel can break quite easily. This cannot happen with our product.

The materials

There are literally hundreds of overlay colours to choose from for use in the modern day stained glass. Most colours can be combined with a frosted overlay to create an even larger range of colours and textures.

Lead strip also comes in many colours and effects. The old favourite through the 80’s and 90’s being Option 1 Natural lead. Today almost every job we create is manufactured using Option 2 Antique Lead which is a darker lead. Leadbitter Glass now offers antique lead as standard so this is included in any quote you receive. Soldered joints on the lead strips help achieve that ‘traditional’ feel to the glass. this finish can be requested at an extra price. You can see the different Lead strips available in our Leaded Glass Options page.

The Coloured Glass Roundels pictured above are manufactured using coloured glass and they are made in-house. These roundels are a beautiful modern day reproduction of Victorian roundels that were popular in the Victorian and Edwardian era’s. Our 60mm diameter glass Roundels are available in many different colours.

View our basic range of Overlay Stained Glass colours to view the most popular colour choices. There are hundreds of other colours and effects available so you can request any colour you find on any design throughout this website.

View Our Stained Glass Past Works

We’ve created thousands of Overlay Stained Glass jobs since 1994 and you can view some in our Past Works Gallery. New projects are added quite regularly and this section is a great way to see what other people are ordering. We tend to add jobs that are a little bit different so there are many bespoke designs featured here.


Visit The Leaded Glass Galleries