Pressed flowers are beautiful and can be used for many different projects and decorations. However, due to the lack of moisture in the flower, a pressed flower is dry and brittle. Pressed flowers can also leave oily residue on surfaces. To protect both the flower and the surface, it is possible to laminate pressed flowers. There are several kinds of laminators to choose from, and each is best for a different kind of project.
Types of Lamination
Lamination is the process of sealing the outside air away from the contents of a plastic sheet. There are two main types of lamination. Hot lamination is created by fusing two sheets of thin plastic together to create a shield around the flower inside. Cold lamination uses two sticky pieces of plastic to hold a flower in place. Cold lamination is not as safe from the elements as hot lamination because it is easier to pry the two sheets apart. However, the high heat from some hot laminators can be damaging to the most delicate flowers. The type of fuser used to hold the plastic layers together is also important. Lamination machines designed like the typical machines found in office settings can be very imprecise. They can cause the flowers to slip while in the machine, which can be frustrating.
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The best kind of laminator to use with pressed flowers is not a large machine. There are actually specific lamination sheets designed to work with delicate art projects such as pressed flowers. These sheets are made of a thin plastic that fuses with any surface, making it appear almost as if the plastic were a part of the project all along. This sheeting is slightly sticky, so that the flowers can be held exactly in the place where they were originally positioned. Heat is then applied with an iron or hair dryer to fuse the two sheets of plastic with the pressed flowers. If an iron is used, a towel should be placed above the plastic to ensure even heat distribution and to keep the iron clean. These plastic sheets are sometimes called art shields or UV heat-set laminating films. This laminating film can be found in many art supply stores.
Choosing the Right Lamination Process
Different pressed flower projects will require a different lamination process. For projects that are designed to preserve the flowers only, then lamination done by a large machine might do the job. However, more delicate and precise projects will turn out better if laminating film is used instead. Use your best judgment to determine what kind of lamination will work best for your project.