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Made Of vs. Made From: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 18, 2023
"Made of" denotes the original material remains recognizable, while "made from" indicates the original material underwent a change.

Key Differences

"Made of" and "made from" are both expressions used to describe the materials or ingredients that constitute an object or substance. However, they're applied in distinct contexts and convey different nuances about the materials or processes involved.
"Made of" is employed when the material the object consists of remains in its original, recognizable form. This phrase implies that even after the process of creation, the original material still retains its inherent characteristics. For instance, a table made of wood would mean that the wood is still discernible and hasn't transformed into another substance.
On the contrary, "made from" is used when the material has undergone some transformation, and the end result is different from the original substance. This indicates that the original material might no longer be identifiable in its initial form. For example, wine is made from grapes. After the process, the grapes have been transformed and no longer exist in their original state within the wine.
Another way to discern the difference between "made of" and "made from" is by looking at the end product. If the product's composition visibly represents the original material, "made of" is apt. Conversely, if the end product results from a process that changes the essential nature of the original material, "made from" is the fitting choice.
To summarize, while both "made of" and "made from" describe the composition of an item, the former emphasizes the unchanged nature of the material, and the latter underscores the transformation it has undergone.

Comparison Chart

Material Transformation

No transformation, material remains recognizable
Original material undergoes change

End Product

Shows the material in its original state
Result of a process altering the original material

Typical Usage

Physical objects, especially if solid
Processes, especially where original material dissolves or integrates


Original material is visible in the end product
Original material may not be discernible


Wooden table, dress made of silk
Wine made from grapes, paper made from wood

Made Of and Made From Definitions

Made Of

Describing an object based on its primary material which remains unchanged.
The sculpture is made of clay.

Made From

Highlighting the base material which is transformed during production.
Soap is made from fats or oils.

Made Of

Highlighting the primary, unchanged material in a product's structure.
The basket is made of wicker.

Made From

Indicating the original substance that has undergone change to produce an end result.
Wine is made from fermented grapes.

Made Of

Indicating the composition of something where the original substance retains its properties.
The house is made of bricks.

Made From

Describing something created through a transformative process from an original material.
Cheese is made from milk.

Made Of

Specifying the unaltered material constituting an item.
The necklace is made of gold.

Made From

Denoting the source material which has been altered or processed.
Paper is made from pulped wood.

Made Of

Denoting an object's material which is evident and recognizable.
The shirt is made of cotton.

Made From

Specifying the starting material that is no longer recognizable in the final product.
Plastic is made from petroleum.


When should I use "made of"?

Use "made of" when the original material remains recognizable in the end product.

Is a wooden chair "made of" or "made from" wood?

A wooden chair is "made of" wood since the wood remains in its original form.

Can both phrases be used interchangeably?

No, they convey different nuances about the materials or processes involved.

What is the emphasis when using "made from"?

The emphasis is on the transformation of the original material.

Is a book "made of" or "made from" paper?

A book is "made of" paper, but paper is "made from" wood.

Is "made of" more about composition and "made from" about origin?

In a way, yes. "Made of" emphasizes the present material, while "made from" highlights the original source that has undergone change.

Is bread "made of" or "made from" flour?

Bread is "made from" flour, as the flour undergoes a transformation.

Is a leather jacket "made of" or "made from" leather?

A leather jacket is "made of" leather as the leather remains recognizable.

Are items "made from" always the result of a chemical process?

Not always, but "made from" often implies a transformation of the original material.

Is a salad "made of" or "made from" vegetables?

A salad is "made of" vegetables, as the vegetables remain in their original, recognizable form.

What does "made from scratch" mean?

It means something is made from the basic ingredients or from the beginning, without using pre-made components.

Is a gold ring "made of" or "made from" gold?

A gold ring is "made of" gold, as the gold remains in its original state.

Are steel products "made of" or "made from" iron?

Steel products are "made from" iron, as iron is combined with carbon and other elements to produce steel.

Is a glass window "made of" or "made from" sand?

A glass window is "made from" sand because sand undergoes a transformation to become glass.

Does "made of" always indicate visible material?

Typically, yes. "Made of" suggests the material remains evident in the end product.

Can I say a product is "made of" its ingredients?

It depends. If the ingredients remain in their original form, yes. Otherwise, "made from" would be more appropriate.

Are items "made of" always solid?

Not necessarily, but "made of" often refers to items where the material remains in a recognizable state.

Is butter "made of" or "made from" milk?

Butter is "made from" milk, as the milk undergoes a transformation to become butter.

Are "made of" and "made from" grammatically different?

Both are grammatically correct but have different meanings based on the context of the material's transformation.

Is juice "made of" or "made from" fruits?

Juice is "made from" fruits, as fruits are processed to extract the juice.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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