A general guide to Welsh Slate.
Slate for house signs
Slate is stone created from the very fine mud and sediment of prehistoric swamplands laid down over millions of years. This ancient history defines the very nature of Slate.
Fine layers of silt laid down over millions of years – layer after layer, compress and harden and to form a stone that can be very hard and tough.
Most types of slate are resistant to weathering and untypically for a natural stone, high in tensile strength. This allows us to make and supply longer and narrower house name plaques than is possible in sandstone etc.
The high tensile strength of slate is due to the layered or laminated nature of the stone, this can best be seen by the application of Slate as roofing tiles. Slates can be along split down very thinly to form a strong light weight roofing covering that has been used for thousands of years and indeed is still widely used today.
Most types of slate are generally tough hard wearing,and resistant to the effects of weathering.
This natural character makes slate an excellent choice of material for use as house signs and engraved plaques.
However care must be taken in the choice of slate as some slates types of slate may lose their colour in direct sunlight.
The most famous and one of the toughest slates in the world is Welsh slate.
Welsh Slates are among the best and most consistent types of slate in the world. Tourists visiting the principality on holiday really should take the time to visit the vast slate mines of Wales. Historically slate formed one of the most important exports of Wales for centuries. Available in grey and less commonly purple these slates are tight grained, very hard, and incredibly resistant to extremes of weather and colour fade caused by UV light.
Slate used for structural purposes such as walling will always be laid with the layered edge of the stone exposed to the weather, built in this way slate walls last for centuries!
Welsh slate is relatively free of mineral impurities, though can contain flecks of fools gold and occasional white quartz veining.
A superb material for engraving plaques and house signs, Welsh slate will engrave and cut beautifully using any method, and is suitable for both incised and raised in-relief lettering.
To see wonderful examples of engraved slate and to witness the enduring quality of Welsh slate simply visit the churchyard of a Welsh chapel and wander among the headstones, standing testaments of a marvelous stone and brilliant craftsmanship.
The most common colors for Welsh Slate are shades of mid grey and maroon. We usually used the best quality mid and dark grey slates for our house signs.