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Terracotta is a type of clay which means “baked earth” in Italian. It is found in abundance in every continent and contains many minerals along with iron oxide. It can be moulded into any desired shape and size. After drying it, it is baked for approximately 2 hours in a kiln or a pit with temperatures ranging from 600 to 1000 degree Celsius. The baking process lends the clay a reddish-brown colour which is a result of its iron content interacting with fire. The colour may also range from yellow orange to reddish brown depending on the clay type.
Terracotta was previously used by people in the Harappa civilisations and Indus Valley civilisations. In ancient times, it was primarily used to create sculptures. However, the use of terracotta has expanded over multiple areas over the years. This wide array of uses owe to the properties of the terracotta clay such as it being long lasting, porous and easy to clean.
In current times, terracotta products are gaining popularity because of their organic appeal. Terracotta clay is eco-friendly, recyclable and has low carbon impact. Hence, it is a sustainable and and environment friendly alternative which is increasingly being preferred by people world over.
One of the most intrinsic properties of terracotta is that it is porous. This porous nature allows for better air circulation, thus facilitating better growth for plants. Introduce designer planters and vases made of terracotta to create a beautiful green area in office or at home.
Although one has to be careful not to expose terracotta utensils to sudden temperature changes, the benefits of using them as kitchenware are many. Terracotta utensils can be used to fry, bake, grill, and serve hot and cold foods. They add a nice flavour and aroma to the food and help preserve its nutrition. Minerals like potassium, sulphur also gets transferred when food is cooked in these utensils.
The insulating properties of terracotta make pots or serve ware made from this material ideal for storing food. The porous nature of terracotta prevents the escape of heat and moisture outside. When laid out on the table, they bring an earthen and aesthetic vibe to your table decor.
Mugs, cups and jars and kettles made of terracotta keeps the drink at the desired temperature. Terracotta drinkware also imparts the benefits of various earthy materials to it. Terracotta clay being alkaline in nature reacts with the residue acidic elements in water and restores the pH balance which helps fight problems like acidity in stomach or gastric pains.
You can introduce home decor made from terracotta such as trays, lamps, storage boxes and organisers, candle holders and other trinkets. Such products bring in an earthy vibe to your space and are also now available in contemporary designs.