Artificial flowers can be made from many different materials. More expensive flowers are generally made from higher-end materials than cheaper flowers. Artificial flowers can have many advantages over their real counterparts. They don't wilt or die. They can be an alternative for people who are allergic to real flowers. They don't require any special temperatures or storage for shipment.
Designers often dissect real flowers and make patterns for each part when designing artificial flowers. The parts are then laser cut and hand-dyed and painted. They are then put into heated molds to form the curves and wrinkles found in real flower petals. The leaves and petals are then wired and glued, and the entire arrangement is assembled. Since there is much hands-on work in the flower creation process, many artificial flowers are made in China and other countries with low labor costs.
Plastics are a very important material in artificial flower production. Some cheaper flowers and flowers meant to be left outside in the elements, such as Memorial Day wreaths, are made entirely of plastic. Other more expensive fabric flowers also may incorporate plastic elements. Stems are often made of plastic. Also parts such as berries or seeds can be molded from plastic and painted or covered with flocking.
Expensive Silk Flowers
Many of the more expensive flowers are made from silk, although polyester has become more widely used as it is cheaper, more readily available and is easier to dye. The most expensive flowers also don't use plastics, incorporating dried flowers and berries, fabric or paper-wrapped stems and materials like cotton and rayon. Natural materials are found more in the higher-end silk flowers, including dyes and glues made from natural materials and molded parts made from paste.
Uses for Flowers
The type of artificial flower purchased often depends on the purpose of the flower. Cheap 2-inch flowers with no molding might be used by charities that want to hand out tokens for donations. Nice polyester flowers bought by the stem can make a long-lasting arrangement for someone recuperating in the hospital. At a wedding, bunches of silk flowers are a good alternative to real flowers, which can drop petals and don't make good keepsakes.
- Photo Credit PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images