40 historic designs of glitter laminate — from Formica, Textolite, Wilsonart and more

glitter laminateBack in the day, many manufacturers made and sold versions of glitter laminate. Materials historian Grace Jeffers says that the design was pioneered by Formica — they launched the industry’s first glitter-embedded laminate, “White Sequin,” in 1957. Other laminate companies jumped on the bandwagon and soon enough, versatile and pleasing real-glitter sparkles were covering millions (surely) of countertops across America. Today — a look at a boatload of samples of glitter laminate from personal collection and from our Retro Renovation archives, which together comprise our new “catalog” of the various names for this design… and which includes glitter on plain white and colored papers and later, glitter inclusions applied onto more complex paper designs for even more atomic effects.

The names for basic glitter laminate on white:

glitter formicaglitter laminate

Formica called it White Sequin — The first sample shown above is a paper reproduction; the ‘glitter’ is ink — not the real deal, a cheaper way to show samples, I presume. I included it to show the graphics and the name — we can guess it’s from 1960 because of the “1-60” printed on the sample. This was just three years after introduction. The second sample is the real melamine-topped Formica White Glitter as it would have been installed on a countertop — you can see the real glitter shining through. Oopsy, my melamine chip originally had printing on it — the logo and pattern name. I made the mistake of aggressively cleaning it with a vintage cleaner I bought on ebay — without testing first — and the cleaner took the inky text right off. You can see the shadowy remainder of a different, later-era (1990s, I believe) Formica logo. Drats. The chip seems otherwise fine, though… Hereforeto — no more cleaning of my vintage laminate hoard, except for soft dusting.

Thank you, Robert, of ElectraChime — he sent me a bunch of these Formica samples — including all the paper samples I show here — for the permanent Retro Renovation collection! I greatly appreciate it!

glitter laminate

Above: Textolite called it “White Gold”. Textolite was a General Electric (GE) brand.

Missing from our archive: Wilsonart called it “White Glitter.” Grace Jeffers says that Wilsonart later named it “Lamé.” I am sure they must have had one (see below, when I show all their Glitter on colored papers.)
glitter laminate

glitter laminateAbove: Arborite called it G.G. on Snow White. I don’t know what G.G. stands for. Grace Jeffers confirmed that G.G. stood for Golden Glitter. Arborite — a Canadian company now owned by Pionite correction: Wilsonart — was the last company to offer glitter laminate — I believe they offered it into the early 2000s — that’s when I obtained this sample from a local store.

Other companies that existed back in the day and which may have had glitter laminates:

Now, let’s look at the different “simple glitter” collections and some of their color options. Again, this is not necessarily a complete list — these are just the samples I have in my personal collection and from a big story in 2012.

Formica Sequin in at least four colors:

I have Formica Sequin paper samples in four colors:

glitter formicaglitter laminateglitter laminate glitter laminateWilsonart’s Glitter laminate in at least 12 colors:

Not from my collection, but from this story we did in 2013 showing a supernova constellation of Wilsonart Glitter colors… They were being sold as key chains for $10 each, and as soon as I published the story, readers snapped ’em up:

vintage-wilsonart-aqua-glitter

  • Aqua glitter laminatevintage-wilsonart-beige-glitter
  • Beige glitter laminate

vintage-wilsonart-charcoal-glitter

  • Charcoal glitter laminatevintage-wilsonart-cocoa-glitter
  • Cocoa glitter laminatevintage-wilsonart-coppertone-glitter
  • Coppertone glitter laminatevintage-wilsonart-flame-glitter
  • Flame glitter laminatevintage-wilsonart-frosty-pink-glitter
  • Frosty pink glitter laminatevintage-wilsonart-powder-blue-glitter
  • Powder blue glitter laminatevintage-wilsonart-pumpkin-glitter
  • Pumpkin glitter laminatevintage-wilsonart-red-glitter
  • Red glitter laminatevintage-wilsonart-wintergreen-glitter
  • Wintergreen glitter laminate

Textolite’s Gold came in… how many colors?

glitter laminate

  • Surely Textolite must have offered this laminate in more than just the plain White Gold. Alas, my sample collection only includes this one colorway.

Formica’s Silversnow Laminate came in at least four colorways:

Oooh, in 1960 — again, just three years after Formica introduced its gold-flecked “Sequin”, it also had introduced a glitter design with denser, smaller, silver flecks — they called it Silversnow. Perhaps the inclusions are mica, rather than glitter? I have four paper sample chips:

glitter laminate

  • Red Silversnowglitter laminate
  • Green Silversnowglitter laminate
  • Cocoa Silversnowglitter laminate
  • Black Silversnow

Glitter Laminates with deco paper with designs

Formica’s Spindrift came in at least two colors:

Formica’s Spindrift also was in my batch of samples that I date to 1960. It features two additional elements printed on the paper underneath — smudgy-veining + whisperthin cracking-veining. From my paper collection:

glitter laminate

  • White Spindriftglitter laminate
  • Light Aqua Spindrift

Wilsonart’s Satellite laminate came in at least six colors:

Wilsonart’s Satellite was glitter over paper with one additional element, subtle smudgy-veining:

vintage-wilsonart-beige-gold-sattelite

  • Beige gold satellite laminatevintage-wilsonart-aqua-gold-satellite
  • Aqua gold satellite laminatevintage-wilsonart-frosty-pink-gold-satellite
  • Frosty pink gold satellite laminatevintage-wilsonart-powder-blue-satellite
  • Powder blue satellite laminatevintage-wilsonart-primrose-gold-satellite
  • Primrose gold satellite laminatevintage-Wilsonart-White-gold-satellite
  • White gold satellite laminate

Textolite’s Spungold design came in at least two colors:

The smudgy-veining in my Textolite chips looks strong, more powerful than the Wilsonart’s shown above. I have it in two colorways:

glitter laminate

  • White Spungoldglitter laminate
  • Beige Spungold

Textolite’s Nugget came in at least two colorways:

Glitter on simple starbursts, nom nom. These samples — which came along with all the melamine samples — were on paper. I speculate: Brand-spanking new, so tucked in, pronto, even before pressed samples were available. Only two colorways on my sample chain:

glitter laminate

  • Textolite Gold Nugget laminateglitter laminate
  • Textolite Champagne Nugget laminate

Textolite’s Twilight came in at least six colorways:

Twilight featured gold or silver glitter — the glitter was not real chunky — over paper that was pretty highly veined. However, I would say that the veining was not realistic, it was stylized… abstract, even. As if to say, “We’re only kinda sorta pretending to mimic marble — this is laminate, after all, and we’re not going to pretend otherwise.”

glitter laminate

  • Textolite Golden Beige Twilight laminate features two shades of beige veining with gold glitter on top.glitter laminate
  • Textolite Silver Gray Twilight laminate features two shades of gray veining with silver glitter.glitter laminate
  • Textolite Primrose Twilight laminate, two shades of yellow, gold glitter.glitter laminate
  • Textolite Dusty Pink Twilight laminate, two shades of pink, gold glitter.glitter laminate
  • Textolight Aqua Twilight laminate, Aqua and green veining, silver glitter.glitter laminate
  • Textolite Lavender Twilight laminate, lavender and taupe veining, silver glitter.

So there you go. Did your eyes pop out of your head? Did your greedy retro-loving hearts cry, “Gimme! Gimme!”?

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Comments

  1. Julia says

    Gold sequin countertops were in our kitchen when we bought our little 1949 house in the ’90’s. However, there is a bad burn, and much of the gold appears to have worn off over the years. Wish I could find this countertop again! Advice for replacement? Our cabinets are very plain. The frames are Douglas fir, and the doors are probably birch.

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