Crafts in focus: artificial flowers

These beautiful flowers all started as a sheet of silk then petal shapes were stamped out and the petals hand-painted to become unique blooms

Delicacy, intricacy and a love of nature are key to the work of a fabricant de fleurs artificielles

A love of nature is at heart of silk flower-maker’s creations

Business was booming for fabricants de fleurs artificielles, or artificial flower makers in 18th and 19th century France as silk flowers were an essential element of the wardrobe of any wealthy woman.

Luxury houses sprung up to supply hat-makers, fashion designers, seamstresses and tailors... but, today, clothes cost less, last less time, and floral designs are less fashionable, meaning demand for artificial flowers has plummeted.

However, high quality flowers are still sought for weddings, haute couture, and in the theatre, which means the craft, though reduced in scale, continues to thrive.

Cheap, mass-produced artificial flowers have given the authentic item a bad name but a handcrafted ...

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