Types of Bottles


A bottle is a narrow-necked container made of an impermeable material in various shapes and sizes that stores and transports liquids. Its mouth, at the bottling line, can be sealed with an internal stopper, an external bottle cap, a closure, or induction sealing.

A common use for glass is in bottles used to hold wine or other beverages. These bottles are typically shaped like a cylindrical shape but can also have a curved “shoulder” that makes them easier to stack or catch sediment.

There are many different types of bottles, all of which have their own unique characteristics and uses. These include:

The Base (Ring)

A bottle’s base is the surface upon which it stands and is usually measured by its greatest diameter or greatest width and depth. The “resting point” of the base is usually the extreme outside edge of the base, but it can also be the lowest portion of the bottle where the body begins to curve into the base.

The Shoulder:

A bottle’s shoulder is a vertically curved surface that extends from the neck to about the height of the finish. This is a good area to catch sediment, and it also has a small amount of headspace that can be useful if some volatile compounds are stored in the bottle.

The Body:

A main content containing portion of the bottle that lies between the shoulder and the heel (insweep). This area is also called the body or “content” on this website. It is usually the first part of the bottle molded, and it can also be decorated with labels or other decorative elements.

The Finish:

A top or lip of the bottle that is shaped to accommodate a specific closure size. This part of the bottle can be shaped to look different than the rest of the container, such as in embossing, or it may have a ring around the outside of the bottom that is stippled or engraved.

The Thread:

A spiral-shaped ridge on the finish that is designed to mesh with a similarly sized screw-type closure to seal the container. This part of the finish is usually stippled to hide any scratches that may occur during handling or shipping.

The Heel:

A lower part of the bottle that joins the body to the base-bearing surface. This part of the bottle is usually given a stippled or engraved finish to mask any scratches that may occur during handling or shipping.


A raised lettering, design, or graphic that is formed by incising or engraving on the inside mold surface(s). The plate below and the Bottle Body & Mold Seams page have more information about this technique.

The Ring:

A rounded area on the outside of the finish that is narrow and shaped like a glass “wedding band” or ring at the base of the finish. This ring is often given a stippled or carved finish to hide any scratches that may occur during handling, or it can also be decorated with labels or other decorating elements.