Leadlight and stained glass are cousins; not the same art, but fairly similar in many ways. Stained glass windows tend to be large, elaborate and grandiose, combining coloured glass shapes with clear glass painted using a special translucent glass paint. Leadlight, on the other hand, is a little simpler and more straightforward: it's made exclusively from coloured glass pieces, no painting involved and, as such, tends toward more simplistic, geometric designs. It's a popular and striking architectural feature of many homes, but it can take a little maintenance--so how can you keep your decorative leadlight windows looking their best?
Be alert to what looks like colour fading
Coloured glass is made by baking the dye into the pane itself, meaning the colours don't fade over time--which is how stained glass windows can stay bright for centuries. If your leadlight window seems faded, it probably just needs a careful and thorough cleaning. You can of course carry out basic cleaning yourself, but when that's not sufficient you'll want a professional glass repair service to come and take a look; they'll have your decorative windows looking pristine again in no time at all.
Maintain the individual glass pieces
If one of the individual panes of your leadlight window gets broken, you'll need a professional to come in and replace it. If you can, try to save some of the larger shards of the broken piece — this will help with colour matching. A good restoration service will be able to find and install a new pane in a way that looks seamless, preserving the original look and feel of the piece.
Watch out for damage to the lead or frame
The leaden bands holding your window together are called 'cames', and they're pretty durable — but accidents can happen, especially in a busy family home. If one is damaged, a glass restoration service can help. Before you get in touch, do the best you can to protect your window by covering it with something like cardboard on both sides. In addition, try to handle the piece itself as little as possible. A bent came is much harder to repair than a cracked one, so be careful.
Leadlight windows are a beautiful, durable way to decorate your home, and as statement pieces they can add a lovely atmosphere to any room. A little knowledge is all you need to keep them in great condition, especially with the help of a reputable glass repair and restoration firm. Contact a glass repair or replacement service to learn more.