The Basics of Bottles


Bottles are containers for liquids, such as beer, soft drinks, cooking oil, medicine, and water. They are made from either glass or plastic. Plastic bottles are lighter than glass, which is why they are often used to store liquids. Often, they come with a close-fitting stopper to protect the contents from spilling.

Bottles can be grouped into four basic types: narrow-necked, wide-necked, semirigid, and rigid. Each type is used for different purposes. A narrow-necked bottle is best suited for holding small amounts of liquids, such as wine or milk, while a wide-necked bottle is best suited to holding large quantities. Narrow-necked bottles also typically have a close-fitting stopper to help prevent foreign substances from leaking out.

The top of a bottle is known as the rim. It is the part of the bottle that is closest to the base, usually the largest diameter. Generally, the rim is also the location of the bore, or opening.

In addition to the rim, there is another part of a bottle that is more obscure. This part is the heel, or transition zone between the body and the base. Although the rim is a useful term, it is not always the most common.

The mouth of the bottle is the area where the liquid is poured. Depending on the context, this may be referred to as the orifice, the opening, or the throat. Other terms to be used in conjunction with the mouth of the bottle include the aperture, the corkage, the kick-up, and the push-up.

Some authors suggest that the rim and the lip of a bottle are actually different aspects of the same object. However, in most cases, the rim is the most important of these two. For instance, the rim is the largest surface area, and the rim is the uppermost of the three. On the other hand, the neck and the base are the other two major portions of the bottle.

To make things even more confusing, some authors refer to the entire finish on a bottle as the lip. Others use the word in the context of the rim, referring to the smallest part of the rim.

Another confusing term is the collar. This term is often used to denote the lower part of a two-part finish, but the collar can also be used to describe the entire finish.

Many other terms are confusing or even obscure. But the best way to learn about these bottle parts is to get familiar with the different definitions. Using drawings or other visual references can make the process of identifying bottle components easier.

While these are all important, you should also consider the bottle’s body. The bottle’s body is the main content containing portion of the container. Usually, the body is positioned between the shoulder and the heel.

If you want more information on the various parts of a bottle, visit our Bottle Body & Mold Seams page. You can also check out the Bottle Finishes section.