Unlike most ancient faience, which consists of a quite porous and weak body coated with a glassy glaze, much Harappan faience has a quite dense body with a continuous glassy phase and a relatively thin skin of glaze. A multiple-step grinding and fritting process of manufacture was used to make the finely ground, uniformly blue-green and other colored bodies. Intentional additions of glass frit and clay are postulated. The Harappan faience bodies are particularly strong, compared with contemporaneous faience from Southwest Asia and Egypt, because Harappan faience is more dense, because differential thermal contraction during cooling places the continuous glassy phase in compression, and perhaps also due to crack deflection toughening. A similar technology is not found in Egypt until much later during the New Kingdom about 1450 B.C., and then only glass is added.
The socio-cultural reasons for the development of such a specialized technology probably resides in the properties required of the particular type of artifact in which this technology is most often found, that is, bracelets. Bracelets, or bangles, were worn on arms and legs; most often several were worn at a time. Such use required the bracelets to meet criteria of increased abrasion resistance and impact strength, and thus an innovative technology was developed to meet these needs.