Earthenware dinnerware is made from a common ceramic dinnerware material that usually contains clay, kaolin, quartz, and feldspar. It is one of the oldest types of pottery dinnerware materials. As far as quality, it ranges a bit below stoneware and definitely below porcelain and bone china sets, so it chips more easily.
Earthenware is a preference of many dinnerware manufacturers because easy to work with to create unique designs.
If you are looking for long-lasting dinnerware that can become an heirloom, earthenware is not your best bet; however, it is usually cheaper than other types of dinnerware, so it won't break the bank to replace it if it gets chipped or broke.
It is a good starter set for families that don't yet know how to take care of dinnerware, or that haven't decided what they really like. Because there are many decorative patterns made from earthenware, it may be the best choice if you change your décor frequently. Trendy designs and patterns are usually available in casual dinnerware sets made of earthenware.
Earthenware has to be fired with food-safe glaze to be food safe, so beware of using hand-made pottery or decorative pottery for serving food or beverages. Some of it is just meant to be used as décor. It is best to check with the potter to make sure that it is food safe.
Earthenware that is designed for serving food is usually dishwasher and microwave safe. Commercial items are usually stamped on the bottom to let you know whether not the dishes can be used in the microwave or washed in a dishwasher.
These dishes can be damaged by abrasives, sudden temperature changes and if they hit solid objects are get dropped. Using scouring pads will scratch the glaze and sometimes you will run across silverware marks.
Some of the manufacturers make a solution to remove silverware marks. Stains can usually be removed by soaking the dishes for a minute or so in a bleach/water solution.