In the last 4-5 years, the development of artificial plants and flowers has leaped to new levels of creativity. Much improved and innovative manufacturing processes have added new dimensions to what consumers can now buy. In fact the term ‘silk-flower’ is used a lot less today because of the different types of materials used in the construction of a plant or flower. Attention to detail is seriously employed so that stems, leaves and flowers boast ‘botanically-correct’ design.
The design process now involves the study of living plants and flowers, their structure, colour and handfeel and noting the many intricate details of the stems, leaves, stamens and calyx. Some faux plant designs for example, the orchid, have ‘hairy stems’, and cacti have a matted, chalky surface, some PU trunks on artificial trees have deliberate holes and ‘aged’ markings.
Although it is the manufacturer that ultimately creates these new designs through trial and error, it is mostly the importers worldwide that conceive the original designs and work closely with the manufacturer to visualize and create the final development.
Screen printing methods have become ever more challenging in the manufacture of high quality artificials. This technique adds not only base colour, but very subtle colour variations, leaf and petal detail, ‘mature’ and ‘new growth’ pattern and even natural faults (insect holes, withered petal/leaf parts). The new screen printing process allows a far more realistic design and is almost impossible to differentiate from the real thing.
With the exciting new developments and complicated manufacturing techniques now used in the creation of new millennium faux plants, they are now more complex and delicately constructed. This means they need to be maintained in a proper manner so that they will continue to look fresh and beautiful. Whereby 20 years ago, artificial flowers and plants could be washed in warm soapy water to rid them of dust, today’s high end artificials will need regular care and attention precisely because they comprise different materials and parts using glue, florist tape, inner wiring, moss attachments etc.
To make the most of your artificial plants longevity, have a read of our section on the upkeep and maintenance of new generation artificial plants and flowers.