- Artificial flowers are also known as silk flowers, fake flowers, paper flowers, permanent botanicals, and faux flowers.
- Traditionally, artificial flowers were made from silk or paper materials.
- Advances in technology have allowed for amazing detail to be added to artificial flowers.
- Due to quality improvement, artificial flowers have become increasingly popular for home décor and event decoration.
- Today artificial flowers are mainly produced from silk fabrics, velvet fabrics, natural textures, flocked materials, plastic fabrics, and real touch technology.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet; this same idea applies to artificial flowers. Artificial flowers are known by a variety of names such as silk flowers, fake flowers, paper flowers, permanent botanicals, and even faux flowers.
Traditionally, artificial flowers were made from silk materials. This is why throughout history they have been referred to as silk flowers. Today, the popular term for these products is artificial flowers because of the variety of different materials used to make them.
Today’s advanced printing technology allows great detail to be included in the finished product so they look as good, if not better than the real thing. Because of this, artificial flowers have become increasingly popular amongst florists for home décor arrangements and event decoration.
The range of materials and techniques used to make artificial flowers include:
100% authentic silk would be far too expensive to make mass-produced silk flowers. Instead, polyester fabric, which has a similar shine and finish is used to make silk flowers. In production, the weights and starch of the fabric determine how soft to touch the finished flower will be. This material is printed, cut, shaped, and assembled on stems to look like real flowers.
Traditionally velvet was another material used to make fake flowers, especially red roses. The velvet fabric used is quite thin and easily modelled to create the artificial flower. This is still a popular choice today as it is highly aesthetically pleasing and durable.
These are materials that are moulded into shapes to look and feel like natural flowers. An example of these materials in use are artificial succulents. They are moulded from special plastics that make them look and feel like the rubbery texture of a natural succulent. Highly realistic, these plants have become a popular choice for terrariums and garden arrangements.
Polystyrene foam is used to create the inner core of many artificial fruits, vegetables, and can even be used for succulents. The foam is moulded into the familiar shape of an apple or pear etc. and then is painted to look realistic. Often the product is then sprayed with a light coat of varnish or glue to give it a glossy finish.
Flocking is a coating or finish that is applied to fabrics or the stems of flowers to create a velvet-like texture. One of the most well-known examples of this is the stems of artificial gerberas. Any flowers or foliage that has a fury finish or stem in nature will be created as a fake flower with flocked fabrics or finishes.
Many seasonal flowers and foliage need to look glitzy and glamourous. To add some holiday cheer to these flowers, lame’ fabrics that have shiny foil stuck to them are used to create festive flowers such as poinsettias and holly. By using these fabrics, the festive artificial flowers can be created in a variety of shiny colours and styles.
Real touch, or natural touch, is a specialised technology that has been developed over the last 20 years in artificial flower making. Many different types of fabrics and plastic materials are used to make real touch flowers. The materials are coated with a special chemical that when dry give a soft and authentic finish which makes the fabric feel like a real flower petal or leaf. One of the most popular artificial flowers created from this method is artificial Orchids.
Soft touch artificial flowers look and feel like real touch flowers but are instead made from a PU foam that is dyed, printed, and assembled to look like real flowers. This material is widely used for making artificial tulips, calla lilies, and wedding roses.
Many plastic fabrics are used to create artificial greenery, foliage, and plants. During production, the thickness and composition of the material are determined by the amount of flexibility the finished item requires. Technology has advanced significantly so that artificial plants can be made from UV resistant materials that do not fade. This allows them to be placed outdoors and in sun-drenched corners of the home.
For more information on artificial flowers read our other Koch Blog articles Do artificial flowers have a place in floristry? and How to Protect Artificial Plants Outside. You can also browse our huge range of artificial flowers & greenery online and in-store today.