Terracotta History - World

World | India

The main reason clay roof tiles enjoy such popularity is because of the product itself. Clay roof tiles have been around for centuries and have proven their durability.

Some Facts about Terra cotta

  • The word Terra cotta or Terra-cotta is originated from Italian word "baked earth",in Latin terra cocta is a clay-based unglazed ceramic.
  • The reddish Color of terra-cotta materials is due to the presence of the iron content in terracotta. The shades of red varies according to the composition of the iron content in the raw materials used in the production

Possible Shades Of Terra-cotta Which Depends on the Iron Content and Baking 

Coral Red
Dark pink
Falu Red
Fire Engine Red
Mauve Taupe
Persian Red
Persimmon Red Red-Violet Rose Rose Madder Ruby Rust Puce Sangria Scarlet
Terra Cotta Upsdell Red Venetian Red Vermilion            


History of Terracotta - World*

  • The oldest shaped bricks found date back to 7,500 B.C.They have been found in Çayönü, in the upper Tigris region, and in south east Anatolia close to Diyarbakir. Other more recent findings, dated between 7,000 and 6,395 B.C., come from Jericho and Catal Hüyük. From archaeological evidence, the invention of the fired brick (as opposed to the considerably earlier sun-dried mud brick) is believed to have arisen in about the third millennium BC in West India.
  • The bible, in the book of Exodus, tells how Pharaoh forced the Israelites to make bricks without providing any straw for their manufacture and how his oppression led to their leaving Egypt for the promised land. These ancient bricks were former of mud and straw and were dried by the heat of the sun. They were not very stable or durable. From about 3500 BC the technique of firing bricks in a kiln was discovered
  • In the medieval period, the revival of the craft took place first along the eastern seaboard, where contacts with the continent were strongest and provided a strong fire proof alternative to thatching. In 1212 AD, King John issued building by-laws for London to eliminate combustible roof coverings and replace them with tiles. Since that time, clay has been a highly sought-after material.
  • By the 18th century, tiles had become the standard roof covering wherever there was an abundant local supply of suitable raw materials, a source of fuel and a thriving craft tradition. The production of clay tiles began as a very small scale industry, with many districts having only one source of supply. Over time, roofers developed their own construction detailing and distinctive methods of laying roofs that provided their neighborhoods with distinctive local appearance and indigenous form old building.

  • Brick Building of 18th Centuary
    Mid 18th century - Albemarle Row, Clifton

  • The process of industrialization and the improvements to the national transportation network in the 19th century led to a widespread use of machine made, though still distinctive, clay roof claddings.
  • Now, in the 21st century, the quality of the built environment is becoming increasingly important and planners are kept to preserve the heritage and regional variation that remains. A panoramic look across the rooftops everywhere with each region set apart from the rest by its own, distinct clay roof tile heritage.

*Source: Wikipedia and various other books and web sites. Coimbatore Tile Company is not responsible for the authenticity of the information