Inspiration and Education

Silk Flower Materials

When permanent botanicals were originally created, they were actually made of silk. As their popularity grew, a more economical option needed to be developed.

Currently, permanent botanicals (their formal name) or silk flowers (their common name) are made from a variety of materials. Note that all materials accept color differently, have a different feel to them, and come at different costs.

Fabrics

  • Deep red rose bush

    Polyester

    The most common material used for fabric botanicals. This is a synthetic fabric that is economically priced and accepts color well. It is best for bright colors.

  • White carnation bush

    Pongee

    This fabric was originally woven from silk but is now made of cotton or rayon. It is a thin, lightweight material. When used in silk flower production, you can usually identify it by its “crunchy” feel. This is the most economical material and is often seen in monument silks.

  • Light bisque rose bush

    Micro Peach

    This is often referred to as a type of fabric, but in reality it is a finish that can be applied to a variety of fabrics. The fabric is subjected to emery wheels (think of spinning nail files) to give it a velvet feel. This finish accepts color differently than most other finishes. Color applied to Micro Peach fabrics are muted. It works great for soft, muted colors such as Bisque.

  • Purple rose bush

    Satin/Sateen

    This refers to a specific weaving pattern used with a variety of fabric types. It results in a fabric that has a nice sheen that works especially well for bright colors.

Other Materials

  • Calla lily stem

    “Real Touch” (Polyurethane)

    These flowers are characterized by their very soft touch. Polyurethane flowers are the most realistic looking and feeling flowers. While they are stunning, it should be noted that they are more delicate than most other types of permanent botanicals. Also, the material does not usually allow for the same brilliant colors that sateen or polyester do.

  • Calla lily stem

    “Natural Touch” (Latex)

    These are soft flowers that have a beautiful natural feel but are sturdier than Polyurethane. Generally they are produced by having an oil based finished cover fabric.

  • Plastic artificial greenery with small leaves

    Plastic

    Eww… who wants plastic flowers? Don’t let the stereotype stop you! Soft plastic, particularly in greenery, allows for some of the most realistic products available. Because an injection mold is used to create each piece, more delicate leaves can be created than can be accomplished by cutting fabric.

  • Artificial pine

    PVC-Polyvinyl Chloride

    A type of plastic most commonly used to make artificial pine.

  • Foam

    Foam flowers are soft to the touch. However, we have found that they are the least realistic looking permanents on the market and we have chosen to no longer carry them.

  • EVA

    A type of foam. This is another material that we no longer purchase because the products do not look realistic enough.