How Dichroic Glass went from the stars to our Home Decor

Do you know what dichroic glass is? It’s an amazing material that creates beautiful stained glass-like designs, and it was created by NASA scientists! In fact, dichroic glass was actually invented at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to be used in telescopes and spacecraft windows because of its ability to reflect infrared light while remaining transparent to other colors of light. Since then, this technology has found its way into the decorative arts world and can be seen in the most elite pieces of home decor across the globe. Read on to learn more about this revolutionary material!

The History of Dichroic Glass

Dichroic glass was invented in 1960 when scientists realized they could combine two layers of glass together with an electro-reflective coating. The best part about dichroic glass is that it isn’t tinted; instead, it reflects back a complementary color depending on the angle you view it. These days, dichroic glass is used in many different fields such as interior design and art.

Why it was Used in Space Suits

Glass has been a tool for NASA for over 50 years. The use of dichroic glass in space suits not only helped protect astronauts but also served as an imaging device that helped take some of the best images of our universe.
It is made by heating sheets of glass coated with rare earth oxides to create unusual optical effects, like a two-dimensional version of holography where what you see depends on the angle at which you look at it.

Why it’s Used on Earth Today

Dichroic glass is created when a thin sheet of glass is sliced through, which creates two sheets of varying thicknesses. The layers are fused together and then ground down. This gives the dichroic glass a layered look that can easily change colors depending on the angle at which it’s being seen. This material is popular in interior design because it’s fashionable and practical at the same time, as it’s an energy-efficient option for window shades.

How is Dichroic Glass Integrated into Furniture

The key to integrating dichroic glass into furniture is understanding the qualities of this particular type of glass. Often containing mirrored layers that can display different colors at different angles, dichroic glass was historically used in space craft parts like mirrors and solar panels because it’s both lightweight and durable. Now, many designers are starting to integrate these one-of-a-kind mirror finishes into decorative pieces like end tables and wall art by designing framing that allows light to show off the amazing dichroistic properties of this material.

What You Should Know About Buying

Buying dichroic furniture can be a great investment, but be aware that not all dichroic is equal. The thickness and color of the glass is what sets it apart. For example, 1/2 inch thick pieces of clear and red hot designs have become a new trend because they are affordable and look great in any decor. Larger pieces with intricate designs should cost more due to the work that goes into them. In order to make a good purchase, try looking at several options.

Modern Elements Dichroic

At Modern Elements, our dichroic occasional furniture is a true blend of metals that are fused together to create a glass film. The Petali drink table was inspired by a cherry blossom as outlined in the trio of petal-like glass tops that are adjustable to whatever shape you desire. The table features an authentic white marble base and a trendy brushed brass finish. At a diameter and height of 22″, this would nestle nicely beside any sofa or armchair for a beautiful pop of multi-color and is sure to be a conversation piece. Learn more about the Petali Drink Table here.
Please Note: Not all dichroic is equal, so be sure to read our FAQs.