The production of glass and custom jewellery is a significant industry in the Czech Republic, and its sales have grown by 160% since the 1990s according to a study carried out by the Technical University in Liberec.
The structure of the glass industry has nevertheless changed over the past 20 years, with massive expansion in flat glass, glass packaging, and glass fibres.
A majority of the Czech public associates the glass industry mainly with traditional production of utility glass, which accounted for 55% of Czech glass output in early 1990s.
Utility glass production has, however, been affected by cheap imports from Asia as well as by the economic crisis. Its share has dropped to one quarter, while the share of technical glass production has grown to 75%. Traditional hand-made glass production accounts for less than 3% of total sales at present.
The change of glass production structure has also affected employment in the sector. While at the end of 2012 the industry employed 17,500 people, 20 years ago it had twice as many employees.
The Czech Republic has the highest per capita output in Europe. According to estimates, 130kg of glass per capita were produced in the Czech Republic in 2010, compared with 81kg in Germany, 74kg in Italy and 71kg in France.