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Archive for May, 2011

How Do You Preserve Dried Flowers?

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Flowers may not be available all year round, but when you preserve them, as in dried flowers, you have at your disposal a wide array of magnificent cost-effective means of decorating. When you preserve flowers you do not only recycle natural materials and not only exercise your creative juices. With dried flowers you can make the beauty of flowers available, regardless of season.

How do you preserve flowers? Here are some things you should know when it comes to preparing dried flowers:

• The first step in preparing dried flowers is to choose the appropriate materials. Not only should the flowers have aesthetic value, the blossoms should also be picked at the right time. Flowers should not be picked in the afternoon because they’d be too dry at that time. The best time would be early morning-just after the dew is dried.

• Once the flower is dried, most of its original color fades away. Thus, coloring is done either to fortify the original color of the flower or to alter the original color to suite the required composition. Coloration of dried flowers can be done by painting with artificial color, or by color absorption or by using citric acid. On the other hand, decoloration is done so that the original colors of the flower lose color until it becomes white. Thus, when the artificial color is applied, the new color is absorbed faster by the flower. Sodium hypochlorite or sodium chlorite is used to decolorize.

• Fungi can cause flowers to rot and wilt. Air drying thus entails treating the flower with fungicide. Flowers which are treated and colored are then tied with a rubber band and hung upside down to dry.

• Compared to air drying, oven drying is a better but expensive way of preparing dried flowers. The flower is hung upside down at 40 deg C then at 45 deg C until it is perfectly dry. Clear aerosol is then sprayed to make it more attractive.

• For roses, orchids and carnations, dry them in the microwave with a silica gel to hold the flowers in place for three minutes using medium-high heat.

• Pressed flowers will look lovelier as the originals. Before pressing the flower, place it in between two sheets of paper or blotting paper with the iron set to low heat and pressing down steadily for a few minutes.

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