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FAQ - Bespoke Bone China Dinner Services


(1) How do I design a bespoke dinner service?

Have a think about about what you want on your dinner service. Don't forget you will have to look at it everyday!

Do you want a motif from your wedding invitation, such as a floral border? Or would you prefer a simple initial in the middle? Are you looking for replacement plates for the old family china where the crest has faded? Or would you like to commission a line drawing of your house?

Give us a call to discuss your ideas and we will hopefully be able to give you some inspiration. We have four fonts for initials and a calligrapher on hand for bespoke monograms. 

(2) How do I know what it will look like? 

For all bespoke orders we generate a product image that shows exactly what your design will look like on the plates. 

We will make sure you are 100% happy with this product image before going ahead with any set up costs for the design. 

(3) How do you calculate the cost of bespoke dinner service?

The cost will be made up of:

  • the price of the plain white plates you want to buy;  
  • the 'set up cost' at the factory for your design; and 
  • the decorating cost per plate (all done by hand).  

(4) How much is the set-up cost for a bespoke design?

Set up costs depend on the number of colours you choose to use in your design (including 'shades' of the same colour). 

This is a one-off expense that will never have to be repeated as we will keep your artwork safe for future orders once it is on our system. 

N.B. Set up costs will seem significantly cheaper on larger orders. A £500 set-up cost spread over 12 plates is quite high at £42 per piece, while the same amount spread over a 72-piece dinner service is only £6.95 per plate.

    (5) Does this number of colours include the colour of the border?

    Yes. You must buy plain white plates and add the border as part of your custom design to be certain that the colour of your border matches the other parts of your design exactly. A bit like wallpaper each batch can come out slightly differently meaning clashing shades. 

    (6) What if my design has more than nine colours in it? 

    You can either splash the cash, or we will work with you to reduce the number of colours in the artwork. There are simple ways to do this and quite often it creates an even more attractive impression as a simple colour scheme works well with the china. 

    (7) Do I have to use the colours on the Xavier website? 

    No. It is easier if you pick from one of our six existing colours (listed below) but not essential. We will visit the factory and find a colour among the hundreds available that matches your design as closely as possible, which is usually relatively straightforward.

    The Xavier colours are: 

    • Crimson
    • Duke Blue
    • Sky Blue
    • Tiger
    • French Grey
    • Blush

    They can be seen by having a look at full colour bone china plates in the Xavier collection


    (8) Is there a minimum order for bespoke designs?

    Set up costs do not change depending on the size of the order so can seem very high for a small order. You can, however, buy the 'set up' as a gift in itself so that a newly married couple, for example, can buy any number of plates with their bespoke design without having to pay for the set up ever again. 

    We have no official minimum order requirement, but suggest buying in sets of six.

    (9) Can I reorder plates with the same bespoke design? 

    Once you have set-up your bespoke design with us, we will keep the artwork and screen in stock so that you or the recipient can re-order at any time without repeating the initial set up costs. 

    The subsequent cost for the china will be at 'normal' prices. 

    (10) What kind of designs can I put on my bone china plates? 


    Family crests and initials are popular.

    We can also transfer the design on your wedding invitation to a set of wedding china. For several couples we have taken the invitation design, reduced the number of colours in the floral artwork and produced a dinner service that not only reminds them of their wedding day, but will be totally unique to their family forever.

    The first set of china made by Xavier was a dinner service for a hunting lodge in France. An artist drew a stunning line drawing of a boar, which looks fantastic in the centre of the plate (see below).