Many of these flowers are now imported from Thailand, China, and Honduras where the labor to make them is more economical. The artificial flower industry has become a multi-billion dollar business.
When one thinks of artificial flowers, silk comes to the mind first. However, these flowers can be made from various materials such as paper, latex, rubber, cotton, dried materials, or sateen. Sateen is used for large, bold-colored flowers. They can also be made from polyester, which is the most popular material by flower makers and purchasers because of the bottom line...lower cost. Polyester flowers also accept dyes more easily, glues more readily, and has more durability.
Manufacturers go to great lengths to make artificial flowers look like the real thing. Leaves may have holes that look like insect damage, and some silk roses can have the additional appearance of real thorns attached. Depending upon whether the flowers are detailed by hand or mass produced, the fabric is either dyed after cutting the petals or after a heat molding process.
Laser beams have been used to cut flowers into the desired shape. This method is very fast and accurate due to computerized controls. Often, it still requires a human hand to assemble the petals into the finished flower product.
The future of silk and other artificial flowers looks good. As long as people want to have permanent representations from nature but do not want the upkeep and maintenance of the real thing, these flowers will be desired by the consumer. They also add a touch of nature and realism to several different types of crafts. I really like the flair that artificial silk flowers have added to many of my cards.
See my retro and modern fashion accessories and creations for the home at