Despite the long-time endorsement of top chefs such as Julia Child who rated Descoware ahead of Le Creuset for its functionality, the fashion-conscious of America were hungry for more color variety and “trendy” designer looks.
By the late 1970’s, GHC, now struggling with profitability due to increased competition with it’s Magnalite Aluminum and Wagner Cast Iron lines, restructured itself and re-focused its energies back on the former two trademarks, which continued to be manufactured in Sidney, OH.
Le Creuset also used the Descoware version of the flame coloration with grey interior for a while; however, this was also relatively short lived.
If you look at Le Creuset’s current version of “flame” you will notice that the color is much more fluorescent looking, almost like posterboard.
More about Descoware colors Originally, the colors available were the Red/Orange “Flame” (gradient), as well as a beautiful Sunny Yellow (solid).
As time progressed, other colors that were released were Antique Gold (solid), Avocado Green (solid), Marigold Yellow (gradient), Sky Blue (gradient), Chocolate Brown (solid), and a very short run of Turquoise (solid) which was released under the Descoware Special line.
The following article was not written for this site. The original was here: that site seems to have gone away. She praised it highly for its quality and durability. By the mid-1970’s, further loss of market share to Le Creuset (who had begun a very aggressive marketing campaign) and other French cookware manufacturers such as Cousances and Staub (another French culinary mainstay), combined with cheaper labor costs and raw materials readily available in Asia, led GHC to shift manufacture of its enameled cast iron line to Japan as well; however, this was short-lived, as the American market was not overly receptive to the new product (known as Finesse), even though it started offering the designer colors so craved by the buying public.
I (Kevin) don’t mean to trample on anyone’s copyrights… Descoware originally was known as Bruxelles Ware at its inception. The first Finesse products were made in Belgium, then later production moved to Japan.
but it would be a shame if this info (from a very well written piece) disappeared entirely. Manufactured in Oudenaarde, Belgium, it was imported into the United States through the Ufinindo International Corporation of New York beginning in the mid-1940’s (see label below). Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.
Descoware was the signature cookware of Julia Child and was featured regularly on her cooking show during the 1960’s. By the late 1960’s, GHC had already begun to expand the Descoware line to include heavy gauge steel enamelware accessory items manufactured in Japan.
Eventually, increasing business costs and competition from other manufacturers forced GHC to discontinue the importing of wares manufactured in Belgium.