HOW ARE HIGH QUALITY SILK FLOWERS MADE?
With modern day technology, most would assume the production of silk flowers will be automated. However it is quite the contrary, production of silk flowers is still significantly labour intensive so it is no surprise that the majority of silk flowers are still produced in Asia.
Let's now explore how a silk flower is made from scratch starting with the raw material.
Silk flowers can come in many forms of material. In the 18th Century, silk was one of China's greatest commodities. They used this silk to produce the earliest 'silk flowers' and ever since then, manmade flowers have been coined 'silk flowers' even when they are not made out of silk. Then came the introduction of plastics leading most mass-produced, cheap silk flowers to be made with plastic polymers.
Until 1970's, fabric became a popular alternative due to their cost, their flexibility and their the ability to absorb colour dyes. However, the biggest issue with fabric is it's tendency to develop fraying edges.
Then came the introduction of polyurethane foam (PU) during 1990's. This was a breakthrough at the time as polyurethane foam flowers will never have fraying edges. This material is still widely popular in today's silk flower market, however there are many drawbacks with using polyurethane.
Polyurethane itself have a strict limit in terms of colours; multi-colour gradients are unavailable thus most flowers are monochromatic. Furthermore, the colours fade over time as well as the hard rigidness of the material makes the flower look one-dimensional and dead. With recent groundbreaking improvement of the polyester material, Polyurethane flowers are on a decline.
Then come the modern day polyester flowers. Several years ago, some products started coating the polyester sheets with multiple layers of a unique latex coat. They have coined the term "Aqua Infused Fabric" for the misty touch you can feel on every petal. Not only does the unique latex coat improve the tactile feel on the silk flowers, it also significantly reduces the chance of fraying on the edges. This "Aqua Infused Fabric" is truly unique to the silk flower industry and now North America will have the chance to feel a true Premium Silk Flower.
HOW IT'S MADE
Every flower starts off with a sheet of white polyester fabric. Regardless of the final colour of the flower, they all start off with white.
Conventionally, the polyester fabric would be die-cut into various petals before they are dyed. The process is a little different with Décor Garden's "Aqua Infused Fabric"; the sheet of polyester fabric is first submerged into its base colour dye then is coated with multiple layers of unique latex coating. This gives the fabric more structure before it is die-cut into various petal shapes and sizes, reducing the chance of frayed edges. The petals are then dyed with multiple shades of colour giving a soft gradient and natural colour.
With the colours perfected, each petal is heat pressed with various moulds to give each petal a different set of veins, texture and shape. Some edges are curled to make the flower look even more natural.
Petal by petal, each petal is glued on by hand making this an incredibly labour intensive process. Some larger petals will require an additional wire running through the edge to preserve it's structure.
After each flower head is made, they are assembled with the other parts including the stem, the leaves and various sized flower heads to create a spray or a bush.
Each flower will then go through a quality control centre to ensure all glue and parts are properly assembled before being packed and delivered.
It comes to no surprise that this labour intensive industry is lead by Asia and it won't be long until the next breakthrough comes to the silk flower industry.