Property talk:P186

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material used
material the subject is made of or derived from
Representsbase material (Q214609)
Associated item
Data typeItem
DomainCreative works (oil, charcoal...), can also be used for buildings or other products (wood, concrete...) (note: this should be moved to the property statements)
Allowed valuesany subclass of base material (Q214609) (note: this should be moved to the property statements)
Examplechocolate (Q195)cocoa bean (Q208008)
Eiffel tower (Q243)wrought iron (Q860451)
book (Q571)paper (Q11472)
Statue of Liberty (Q9202)copper (Q753)
Tracking: sameno label (Q42533367)
Tracking: usageCategory:Pages using Wikidata property P186 (Q23909000)
See alsonatural product of taxon (P1582), fabrication method (P2079), manufacturer (P176), source of material (P2647), has part (P527), product or material produced (P1056)
Proposal discussionProperty proposal/Archive/2#P186
Current uses405,736
Search for values
[create] Create a translatable help page (preferably in English) for this property to be included here
Value type “base material (Q214609), food (Q2095): This property should use items as value that contain property “instance of (P31)”. On these, the value for instance of (P31) should be an item that uses subclass of (P279) with value base material (Q214609), food (Q2095) (or a subclass thereof). (Help)
Exceptions are possible as rare values may exist. Known exceptions: ghost bike (Q937114)
List of this constraint violations: Database reports/Constraint violations/P186#Value type Q214609, Q2095, SPARQL, SPARQL (new)

This property is being used by:

Please notify projects that use this property before big changes (renaming, deletion, merge with another property, etc.)

Other materials?[edit]

Wikipedia has a whole category structure for buildings and structures made from different kinds of materials: different sorts of stone, bamboo, sod, etc. Can this property encompass that, too? Shawn in Montreal (talk) 15:44, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

I think it should be used for buildings as well. Architecture is mentioned here List of artistic media. Buildings and structures are creative works, even if we are categorizing them as geographical features here. Danrok (talk) 15:52, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Right, there you go. thanks, Shawn in Montreal (talk) 16:03, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
However a modern building is made from a great many materials: pretty much everything. Do we need some written clarification as to how this property is to be used in such cases, or just wait to see if it is ever mis-used, first. Shawn in Montreal (talk) 19:37, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
I think it is ok for now. "auxiliary Snaks" were foreseen at some point. I do not know where that stands, but that would probably be relevant here. --Zolo (talk) 20:18, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Take a look at Willis Tower (Q29294) where I have used applies to part (P518) to show which parts of the building are made of the material. That allows us to add many materials without ending up with a long meaningless list. Danrok (talk) 23:27, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Other uses[edit]

Maybe this can also be used to say that chocolate is made from cocoa bean, which in turn is made from Theobroma cacao ... ? - Soulkeeper (talk) 15:44, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't see any problem with that. Danrok (talk) 16:09, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
  • chocolate -> coca bean: I am not sure. I does not feel bad, but there may be logical differences. When you say that a paitning is made of oil paint and canvas, you can clearly identify both the paint and the canvas, but cocoa beans get mixed with other things so that its physical aspect and much of its chemical properties are lost. To take a somewhat similar case, electrum is just gold mixed with silver, but saying that an object is made of electrum is not the same thing as saying that it is made of gold and silver. However, the cutoff is probably subjective.
  • cocoa bean -> Theobroma cacao: I dont think so. Saying that a statue is made of marble means: you take a chunk of marble to make a statue. Cocoa beans on the other hand are not a random chunk of cocoa tree that has been shaped into a new object. It is a particular part of the cocoa tree. --Zolo (talk) 16:13, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps, it is best left as it is for now. Danrok (talk) 04:03, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Sedimentary formations[edit]

Would it be ok to use this property for sedimentary formations. E.g. saying that the New Red Sandstone is made of sandstone? It would probably need some qualifiers though, for example most, some, least (or something more descriptive). --Tobias1984 (talk) 13:50, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

I think it makes sense. Qualifiers like most / some / sometimes would seem useful for many properties, but I am not very clear how it should be done. --Zolo (talk) 14:33, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good. I am going to wait and see how the qualifiers will be implemented first. --Tobias1984 (talk) 20:49, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
I think subclass of (P279) would be best for that. Danrok (talk) 23:11, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
I already use subclass of (P279) for the stratigraphic structure. E.g. Breda Formation is subclass of the "Upper North Sea Group". --Tobias1984 (talk) 05:06, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Used for ingredients??[edit]

I noticed that mojito (Q487338), and likely others, use material used (P186) for their ingredient (Q10675206). For sure Mentha (Q47859) and rum (Q83376) are not types of base material (Q214609). Or are they? Opinions? LaddΩ chat ;) 12:21, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

@Laddo: I think we have to think of material in the broadest terms possible. In think this property could potentially link each material object to smaller and smaller material subclasses until it reaches chemicals, atoms and subatomic particles. --Tobias1984 (talk) 22:04, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
I was wondering about it too. I have been using has part (P527) in some items, but maybe material is better. It probably does not make much difference, just that we should settle on one of them.
On the more technical level, we arguably have the issue that some of the "materials" are just materially not the same once they are mixed and cooked, but I guess we can just ignore that ?--Zolo (talk) 10:02, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

At least Q27643250 should be allowed in P186. d1g (talk) 05:37, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

A food ingredient is not material (a material is something studied by "materials science"). Maybe we should have a property "has ingredient". - Brya (talk) 12:58, 29 July 2017 (UTC)
mojito (Q487338) is made from "white rum" and "juice", not from "alcohol"
(any chemist can re-create "cocktail" from more basic components but this is not the point of "cocktails")
Resulting alcohol is not "ingredient" but just chemical "part" has part (P527) d1g (talk) 13:49, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
... and initial ingredients can disappear from resulting ingredients.
So "made from" is crucial to differentiate this. d1g (talk) 13:52, 30 September 2017 (UTC)


And how exactly we must describe quantity of this material Mentha (Q47859) or rum (Q83376) in a mojito (Q487338)? --Nashev (talk) 22:22, 21 April 2016 (UTC)


Under what conditions should this property be used?

Currently, there are some 96,000 uses, ~88,000 of which are for works of art. Much of the rest are materials used in construction of buildings, along with a few hundred cheese-related statements that have things like material used (P186) cow milk (Q10988133) / applies to part (P518) milk (Q8495). (I don't even know what those statements are supposed to mean.)

Then there are the odd statements that seem to be using P186 as a substitute for has part (P527) for classes. See for example atmosphere of Mars (Q218860). These are, in my opinion, completely incorrect uses.

The original description said "material used for producing the item", which isn't very clear, and the current description just says "material the subject is made of". What counts as a "material"? Why does this property exist? --Yair rand (talk) 09:43, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

IMHO, there are several appropriate uses for this property, but atmosphere of Mars (Q218860) is not among them. I think the property works for anything physical that is intentionally modified or transformed to create something new. To that end, material used (P186) cow milk (Q10988133) for a cheese makes sense to me. (applies to part (P518) milk (Q8495) is really unnecessary; I believe it was meant to say that cow milk is used as the milk for this cheese, as if it could be used as the coagulant or the inoculant instead.) Anyway, has part (P527) doesn't always make sense when the raw material is broken down or transformed, or when the source material is the only component in the end product, as in the case of many natural resources; for example, aluminium (Q663) has material used (P186) bauxite (Q102078), but it would not be accurate to say that aluminium (Q663) has part (P527) bauxite (Q102078) when, in fact, bauxite (Q102078) has part (P527) aluminium (Q663). Swpb (talk) 14:35, 28 December 2015 (UTC)


I assume this property should be used for fabrics (example: jeans (Q83363) <material used> denim (Q652698). If this is so, it would be nice to have a qualifier to indicate "typically", "usually", etc. In fashion, nothing is always made of the same fabric. - PKM (talk) 00:21, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes, textile (Q28823) is a subclass of base material (Q214609)
Agree, we need such qualifier. d1g (talk) 05:37, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

Additional qualifiers?[edit]

I'd like to create additional allowed qualifiers for this property. I'd like to add culture (P2596) to indicate which culture uses this material for the subject items. See Ghost Dance shirt (Q5557306) for use.

I'd also like to add valid in place (P3005), valid in period (P1264), start time (P580), end time (P582), and point in time (P585). These qualifiers are valuable for clothing and textile items, where the material used may change over time or be different in different places. Any objections? - PKM (talk) 18:46, 26 March 2018 (UTC)

Please give several examples of items where you would use this. Right now it's a bit unclear to me how you would use these. Multichill (talk) 20:32, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
Support valid in place (P3005), valid in period (P1264), start time (P580), end time (P582), and point in time (P585) as qualifiers will also be usefull for coins or stamps of same type due to changes of material or papertype. Pmt (talk) 20:45, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
Examples off the top of my head:
  • Stocking <material used> nylon <start time> 1940
  • Zanella <material used> rayon <start time> 20. century -PKM (talk) 21:23, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
These qualifiers are needed when the subject is a class rather than an instance. - PKM (talk) 18:16, 27 March 2018 (UTC)
Sounds to be a good idea! We could then add a complex constraint that restricts the use of these qualifiers to items having a subclass of (P279) statement. --Marsupium (talk) 18:43, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
I have added the general qualifier nature of statement (P5102) (which I just learned about), and if there are no further issues I'll add culture (P2596), valid in place (P3005), valid in period (P1264), start time (P580), end time (P582), and point in time (P585) as discussed above. - PKM (talk) 19:54, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
✓ Done -PKM (talk) 19:53, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

Additional qualifier 'of'[edit]

Does anyone object to adding 'of' to the allowed qualifiers for value? An example would be <material used> blend (Q12055133) <of> "cotton", "polyester". - PKM (talk) 19:57, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

@PKM: Hm, in my eyes it would be attractive to have "cotton" and "polyester" as mainsnak values here, but I don't know how to express that they form a blend (Q12055133) together. Still, I won't object to addition of the very unspecific of (P642) to the allowed qualifiers as the least bad possibility currently available. You know any other similar cases? Perhaps we should take a look into c:Template:Technique as well. --Marsupium (talk) 21:09, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
@Marsupium: Would it be better to make a new item "cotton-polyester blend" with <materials used> "cotton", "polyester", which would be <subclass of> "cotton blend" <materials used> "cotton", "synthetic fiber", which in turn would be <subclass of> "blend", and of course do the same for wool/silk blends and eventually a handful more. I am not sure that adding all those items is really valuable, but I like the clarity of it (and I have no problem doing the work). - PKM (talk) 21:36, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
@PKM: Ah no! Separate items sounds even more complicated, the number easily explodes with n^2 items and even if they get English labels, such constructions make internationalization much harder. I think of (P642) is good enough. :) @Jarekt: You think we can also implement that for Commons? Cheers, --Marsupium (talk) 21:49, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
Okay! - PKM (talk) 21:59, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

”material“ vs. ”product“[edit]

IMHO this property should be changed from ”material used“ to ”material or product used“. This way, it could be the inverse of (P1696) product or material produced (P1056); the inverse of (P1696) product or material produced (P1056) is currently manufacturer (P176), so material used (P186) would be another inverse property. --1914 Josef (talk) 12:58, 31 October 2018 (UTC)