Traditionally, faux flowers have been known as ‘silk’ flowers, prone to fraying at the edges, looking far from real! Other common synthetic materials used include polyester often chosen for its durable properties and affordability.
Faux flowers have however come a long way in terms of variety and quality of the materials used as well as production processes and innovation. Advancement in the faux floral industry has led to faux stems looking more realistic and fresher than ever. Premium fabrics, techniques and craftmanship have contributed to a higher cost of faux flowers but worth the investment for long lasting faux floral displays.
High end faux flowers and foliage are crafted with meticulous attention to detail and often use premium materials to achieve a lifelike appearance. Materials often include ‘real touch’ or ‘petal touch’ technology involving polyurethane (treated foam) or latex to create petals that feel like real flowers. Examples of these premium materials are often used for faux lilies, tulips, magnolia stems which creates a smooth firm petal surface which ensures they hold their shape and structure.
Sometimes a combination of materials are used whereby silk petals have an outer coat of wax or latex to enhance the feel and look. Silk is still used to replicate delicate petals, with luxury brands use finer silk threads which are woven to create a natural sheen and soft texture. To capture the finest detail’s petals are hand painted to achieve the nuance of colours and gradients found in fresh flowers.
To create a realistic arrangement however, it is important to look beyond the flower head! The stem shaft, accompanying leaves and foliage. Details such as the colour and mould shape of the plastic lining of the stem shaft and the fabrics of leaves. These can be big give aways that your stems are not real. Prickly thorns and water staining along the stem itself can add to the realism of the arrangement especially if displayed in a glass vase where the stems are visible. Foliage is often overlooked but are just as important as the focal blooms themselves. Premium fabrics and advanced techniques can make glossiest leaves and woodiest branches – all adding to the authenticity.