How Are Artificial Flowers And Arrangements Made?
We all know and love an artificial flower arrangement—particularly by Demmery’s. From their realism and high-quality aesthetics to the fact that they’re allergen free and last a lifetime, the benefits of artificial flowers know no bounds.
But what many people don’t know (and are naturally curious about) is how exactly artificial flower arrangements are made. Or more specifically, how a Demmery’s is made. Well in order to understand, let’s first look a little into the history of artificial flowers…
Looking back: a very brief history of artificial flower arrangements
Artificial flower arrangements date back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In fact, some people say they’ve been around since the beginning of time with man creating flower replicas that have since been found in ancient caves. The Ancient Egyptians even tried their hand at creating artificial flowers, staining slivers of horn with dyes to recreate flowers and leaves. The finished results would be worn as floral crowns for special events, creating iconic imagery that would be admired for years to come.
Fast forward to the 12th century and the Italians got in on the action—this time using silkworm cocoons that they’d dye themselves and go on to sell as floral arrangements. As far as we’re aware, this is probably the first example of the kind of refined silk flowers that we’re so used to seeing today. A century later, the French were at it, improving the craft of creating artificial flower arrangements by introducing quality silks for a more natural and realistic effect.
Later, in the 1800s, the art of creating artificial flowers was brought to the United Kingdom with fresh and silk floral arrangements becoming a key sought-after décor option for the fashionable and wealthy. This time, it wasn’t just silk that was used—materials such as cotton, nylon and paper were introduced for added depth and dimension. With artificial flower arrangements being a rather complex craft and a myriad of different plants and flowers to imitate, there are countless ways to design and create them. Even today, artificial flower makers—like us—are still experimenting with new fabrics and techniques. The job is never done.
As you’ll likely already know, artificial flower arrangements vary massively when it comes to quality. On the cheaper end of the scale, artificial flowers are made from low-quality materials with little care and attention taken to detail. Often steps are skipped and results are sloppy. On the higher end of the scale, the quality is much more luxurious and impressive with bespoke arrangements carefully designed for different tastes and remarkably imitating the real thing. Floral arrangements like these last a lifetime and give off the look and feel of real flowers. It should come as no surprise of course that we, Demmerys, fit into this latter category
So how are artificial flower arrangements made?
As mentioned above, there are many ways to design and create artificial flowers—from the species they aim to imitate to the quality of fabrics used and how they’re actually made. Here at Demmery’s, we handcraft all of our artificial flowers and artificial orchid arrangements. No machinery is used—just the dedicated pair of hands belonging to our lovely owner, Sharon Demmery. Love, care and attention to detail is applied to every part of the process.
Here at Demmerys, a lot of our floral arrangements are made to order to fit our high-quality standards and specifications. If you’ve seen one in the flesh, you’ll likely know and agree that these remarkably high standards and careful attention to detail result in the most lifelike flowers and artificial orchids one could possibly imagine. From initial view to careful inspection, the detail and depth within every single aspect of each design is outstandingly realistic. In fact, many of our clients are amazed that they’re not actually the real thing.
So how do we manage this? Well, here at Demmery’s, we use a mix of fabrics for different flower types to ensure that the finished result is as realistic as possible. For example, if we were creating a design comprising peonies and roses, we use silk and latex to give it the realistic shape, depth and dimension it would require. On the other hand, if we were creating calla lilies, tulips or artificial orchids, we’d favour silicone as it’s much thinner and more durable—perfect for the petals of the flowers in question.
As you can see, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ rule with artificial flowers—each and every design is different and requires careful tailoring and the right materials to make it happen. But as a general rule, the following materials apply to the following flower parts:
How Are Artificial Petals and leaves Made?
As we mentioned above, this all depends on the flower type in question. However, what we’re finding more and more these days is that we’re using silk less and less often. Despite the remarkably realistic aesthetic they lend, they can crease and become misshapen very easily. And when one of our mantras is ‘buy once, buy forever’, this is no good.
As a result, with the exception of certain flower types like peonies and roses, we favour synthetic fabrics like polyester due to the fact that it holds its shape. Give a polyester flower a scrunch and it’ll bounce back into shape instantly. Now you might be thinking ‘Why would I scrunch up my flowers?’ but unfortunately, it happens more than you think. For example, if you were to move house and had a home filled with artificial orchids, imagine the headache you’d have trying to keep them upright and untouched throughout the entire boxing, moving and unpacking process. Gosh, it’s almost migraine-level. As a result, polyester makes the artificial flowers last longer due to the fact that it’s more durable. At the same time, you still get the exquisitely lifelike effect that’s desired.
When it comes to shaping the actual petals, we use a press to give each individual petal and leaf its natural shape. We then add texture by moulding the petal to reveal lifelike veins, before shaping the petals by hand to give it that natural curl effect. To piece them all together, we then apply glue by hand, dipping and spraying the design with latex for that realistic effect. See, we really don’t do things by halves.
How Are Artificial Stems Made?
When it comes to creating stems, we use a wire core that we place and shape in a mould to create the desired structure. Since the stems will be glued with the actual flowers and leaves, they need to be relatively stiff and strong. And so, we choose a wire stiff enough to support the rest of the design, while making sure they’re thin enough to twist, turn and mould in the way that we’d like.
Since we create a lot of artificial orchid arrangements, many of our designs require long stems. Not only does this create a realistic display, but it also gives us room to play with as we cut and bend them into the shape we desire. If the stem is too short, it’s very difficult to create the lifelike standards we uphold. Plus, nobody wants to see revealed wires. Everything has to be perfect.
When it comes to painting the stems, we paint them all by hand. Sometimes, we even use paper to wrap the stems for that bark effect before we then go on to paint them. And if you’re familiar with our designs, you might have also noticed that we sometimes incorporate artificial moss into relevant designs to make the finished result even more authentic.
Speaking of authentic, we also mix things up when it comes to the individual elements of multi-head flowers. For example, some of the artificial flowers we create might have larger openings to make them true to nature. We sometimes even add an element of the flower starting to die off a little through the use of careful shading and shaping. No detail appears by accident.
Remember: each and every one of our designs is made to order and built to last. Whether you fancy an artificial orchid arrangement or a tropical display, we’ll get to work with careful dedication and attention to detail to make sure they look as realistic as possible. Sometimes, we even photocopy real leaves and petals and incorporate them into the design so that they’re literally replicating nature.
And with artificial flowers being a lifetime investment, you can rest assured that they’re a sustainable purchase. Yes, plastics are used but with the displays due to last a lifetime, you won’t be buying them again and again and replacing them for the sake of it. This is why quality is so important to us. If you’re wondering whether they’re as sustainable as buying the real deal, consider the true costs of real flowers. From delivery lorries and ferries to the distance they actually travel to get to you, real flowers can have a huge carbon footprint. Not to mention the fact that they die within days and create more waste to be shipped across to disposal sites. But not a Demmery’s. It’s ‘buy once, buy forever’, remember.
So, why not see for yourself? If there’s an artificial flower arrangement you’d like us to design and create, get in touch. Maybe you have a query and want to find out more. Well, I, Sharon, am here to chat you through some ideas. Simply fill in the form below or call me on (+44) 7980 740 759 and we’ll start the conversation and design process.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.