Silk Flowers – origin of the name
Sometimes known as Fake Flowers or Artificial Flowers, silk flowers were first sewn with silk hundreds of years ago by the Chinese. Today, we still call them “silk flowers”, but current manufacturing methods use synthetic fibres and high-tech processes.
Fake flowers are a popular choice for offices, hotels, restaurants and home décor because of their durability and the low maintenance they require.
“My flowers looked amazing! They felt so real and the quality was top notch …”
– customer’s review
What are other names for Silk flowers?
Silk flowers can also be called artificial flowers, fake flowers, faux flowers, plastic flowers, etc. In our shop categories we use the term artificial flowers (and artificial plants, not silk plants).
History of Silk Flowers
Fake flowers date back all the way to Ancient Egyptian times, when floral wreaths were formed from thin plates of horn which were stained in different colours. The Ancient Romans made their fake flowers out of wax. In Italy, in the Twelfth-Century artificial flowers were made of real silk. European, especially French, artists began to improve the artificial flowers, using high quality fabrics and highly skilled craftsmanship.
At the time of the French Revolution in the eighteenth century, Queen Marie Antoinette chose a silk rosebud as her emblem. The French Revolution spread the fake flower artisans all over the world; many of them landed in England and America. In the Victorian period fresh flowers and silk florals became typical in home décor. During this time, flowers were assigned meanings for particular occasions and emotions.
In America, fake flower arrangements were used for ladies of high fashion. The popularity of the faux flower grew so that throughout the early 20th century, shop owners began offering silk flower products in their shops.
Today, silk flowers are praised for their realism, versatility and beauty. All the flowers we stock are of the highest quality and can barely be told apart from their natural counterparts.
“… Real flowers were not an option for us (because of allergies), but I don’t feel as if we are missing out on anything by having these silk flowers …” – customer’s review
Fabrics for Silk Flowers
Fake flowers are usually formed from polyester (depending on the chemical structure, polyester can be a thermoplastic or thermoset). Plastic still dominates at the mass-produced, artificial flower market. Polyester is very good for various reasons: low-cost, ability to accept dyes and durability.
Inside, silk flowers are often wired. Wired stems are stiffer, but retain elasticity, which is crucial for arranging artificial flowers.
Silk Flower – how does it made?
The process begins with white polyester textile fabric. All flowers and leaves are white in the beginning, no matter the final colour. The fabric is die-cut into a range of flower petal shapes and sizes. These are then dyed and then assembled into finished, beautiful silk flowers.
To create the look of natural flowers, the fake flower petals need wrinkles and shapes. The petals are heat pressed in shape-molds, which create the realistic form. Large petals may need to be stiffened with wire glued on the edges. Once we have made single silk flowers, many are joined by hand to create sprays, or larger bushes. This is the last step before they are packed and delivered.
Because of the intensive nature of their production, it is no surprise that the majority of faux flowers are produced in China, Thailand and Honduras.
Future of Silk Plants
Silk flowers are as popular today as they have been in the past. People like to be surrounded by colour in abundance and have a beautiful substitute for nature. They also want the convenience of low-maintenance, everlasting flowers. Our homes, offices, restaurants benefit from the addition of artificial flowers, and many other businesses rely on fake flowers to add the finishing touches to their indoor and outdoor spaces.
“The flowers were amazing! … I can’t wait to have the beauty of these flowers captured in our wedding photos …” – customer’s review
Beveridge, Ardith and Shelly Urban. “Permanent Botanicals” In A Centennial History of the American Florist. Topeka, KS: Florist Review Enterprises, 1998.