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A Guide To Choosing and Buying Artificial Flowers

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It can be hard to choose artificial flowers because they come in so many varieties and are made from so many different materials. We research the market for the most realistic artificial flower designs.
The quality of the raw materials used in their production and the manufacturing process can make artificial flowers very expensive. Artificial flowers are labor-intensive. They are most commonly imported into Britain from China or Thailand, where labour costs are low. But, even though fresh flowers may be relatively inexpensive, artificial flowers can be very costly.

The stems are a key part of artificial flowers’ appearance. All artificial flowers come with wire stems. Latex and silk flowers have theirs covered in plastic, whereas foam flowers are taped wire stems. These flowers look better when they are placed amongst other flowers.

Here’s the scoop on artificial flowers.

Silk flowers

Silk flowers are a tradition that has been around for hundreds of years. However, the idea of making silk flowers was first developed in China. It wasn’t until the 12th Century that this knowledge reached Italy and became a business.

Silk flowers can look very real and I prefer them when designing. Even though silk flowers aren’t cheap compared to fresh blooms, don’t let that deter you.

Today’s silk flowers are not made from silk, but from a range polyester rayon or cotton fabrics. This allows the manufacturer to use specialist dyes as well as heat treatments that produce details like veins in leaves and blossoms. They also come in a variety of sizes. Some stems are thin and green, which is fine if they are not going to be seen. Others are more fleshy and have flocking applied, such as a rose gerbera.

Most fabric flowers that we purchase begin as simple white rayon and nylon. Once they have been dyed, they are cut into basic shapes. Then heat is applied to give them a more realistic shape.

Our velvet touch red roses look just like a real red rose, but without the use of wax or flocking.

A problem with silk flowers is that they can fray easily. This is due to heat applied during manufacturing. Fraying is typically minimal.

Silk flowers can be found in so many shades and varieties that they are worth looking into as an alternative to fresh blossoms.
Latex flowers

Latex flowers are made from molds from living plants and flowers. The latex flowers are extremely realistic. Latex is a liquid that highlights the veins and uneven shapes of flowers. As with all artificial flowers the goal is to make them look realistic, flaws included. Although suppliers usually call them real touch flowers or fresh touch flowers, this is not a trade label for latex flowers. Each manufacturer will determine what flowers are considered real touch.

They are often thicker and more realistic looking than fresh flowers. There is only a small selection of calla lilies available, but you can find oriental lilies (or orchids) and roses. You will need to search harder for other varieties, although they are becoming more widely available.

Foam flowers

Foam flowers can come in many colors, although most are roses. However, our supplier also stock calla lilies and calla peonies.

They were not always colourfast when foam flowers first came on the scene, but they are now. However, it is important to check before you make a purchase.

They are very versatile and easy to work with. They are an excellent choice if you haven’t worked with artificial or fresh flowers in the past. If you want to make a bouquet for your wedding, you will need to cover the stems with ribbon or hide them.

Plastic Flowers

Plastic flowers are commonly associated with the simple brash flowers found on memorial wreaths at Christmas. While they have their place and can be used outside, they lack realism and are not recommended for use in bouquets or arrangements.

We do carry a limited selection of quality plastic flowers and foliage. However, this is not available to all flowers.

Silk leaves are also available on higher quality plastic flowers. Additionally, some foliage have been coated with flocking. This works well for asparagus Fern and leaf, such as the silver-coloured dusty miler with a furry surface.

Plastic flowers and leaves have advanced significantly in the past few years. They shouldn’t be overlooked.