Artificial Real Touch Flowers - Our Insights On Availability, Quality, Design, Cost & DIY
We appreciate your admiration of the quality and variety of our genuine real (natural, fresh) touch and Floramatique® flowers in a vast range of our original Catalog and custom wedding floral designs. However, we do not sell our top quality artificial flowers by the stem, a dozen or in bulk and cannot provide them for DIY (do-it-yourself) projects and to other florists. Nor do we reveal information about sources of our supplies. This is our policy - no exceptions. We are a floral design studio, not a wholesaler, or a reseller.
This strong opening paragraph above has a reason. We were 'besieged' for years with phone calls and email inquiries in regards to where to get certain flowers, if we can sell them, etc.. Please keep in mind though that the thoughts and opinions presented on this page are solely ours and they may not reflect the ones of others.
We spent a great deal of time, effort and money on sourcing, research and travel in order to find the best man-made flowers and their reliable providers. So our databases are the company proprietary information. If you were in business, would you be ready and eager to reveal and share the information that has taken years to compile, verify and update? Just because someone (often a present, or a wannabe competitor) would ask?
On the other hand, it would not make much business sense to us if our designers diverted their precious time (from creating pieces of bridal floral art in high demand) to re-packing and dispatching boxes with single stems/ branches of flowers, greenery and accessories. But there are other important reasons why we cannot offer any ultra realistic flowers from our stock in bulk, or in any quantities, especially when certain kinds may be no longer available, or in short supply.
What AreThe Best Faux Flowers & What Does It Take To Secure Them?
By now, you may have read some opinions and reviews online on real like flowers. They could have originated from brides, from florists who claim to ‘specialize’ in them and to really know them, shills on various online bridal forums for certain floral shops and from resellers to the public. But you may feel even more confused and still want your questions answered. After all, you want to have the finest fake flowers available to enhance your wedding, or a living, or a working space. You just want to make a right decision on how to proceed, minimizing a risk of wasting your money.
Perhaps we should start from defining the subject: What are real touch flowers? Let's clarify that, in just two sentences:
For artificial flowers to be classified as of the ultimate highest, genuine grade 6/ real touch quality, they have to have not only real, natural feel to the touch (imitating that of the fresh cut flowers) but they have to be almost perfectly botanically correct in their smallest components. Because of their ultra realistic and lifelike appearance you will (and should) be uncertain if they are fresh cut or synthetic flowers, even looking at them in person and up-close.
The most informative anywhere material on the subject of contemporary artificial flowers, grouped in a series of short articles is available on this page. If you do not have time, or patience to read it all, focus just on the classication of all kinds of silk flowers manufactured today. Please note that the other information you find online on the subject may be often a peripheral rendition of the comprehensive content from there (first version published in 2005) and other pages on our website.
We try to keep good inventory and have to steadily keep replenishing it and supplementing it with new specimens of highest quality faux flowers. We ship completed arrangements' orders all year round, except during two last weeks in December. As we never buy anything in quantities until we first see a product, we have done extensive travelling over the years. Therefore, sourcing and prospecting for new flowers is constant, costly and never really ending process.
But since the end of 2008 we cannot count on uninterrupted supply stream of many flower kinds, in selection and quality we had been accustomed to before and from the same as before channels of distribution. 2009 and 2010 were the years where not only tens od factories making excellent quality real/ fresh/ natural touch flowers irrevocably closed but many large wholesale operations on four continents went out of business. And the currently existing and new manufacturing enterprises offer the replacement and/ or new flower products that are often inferior in appearance, material composition and quality. In addition, prices of artificial flowers in general doubled and tripled since 2007. Labor costs overseas have increased sharply and high energy prices have affected the outsourced production facilities. Do you know that energy counts for 40% of manufacturing costs? Although the supply situation improved somewhat in 2012 and 2013, production outputs for 2014 were just a bit more than half what they were in 2008. We do not have the data for 2015 yet.
Therefore, you can now understand that it would not make any business sense to us to part with what we need everyday in our work. Especially when the same flowers are not available all the time. We may get some kinds of them in limited quantities and do not see them until the next production run - even over a year later, or never again (if a certain factory closes). Selling a few stems here and there and then worrying about the availability of certain flowers for commissioned arrangements' orders would not be a good use of our time and company resources.
Do Inexpensive Real Touch Flowers Exist?
As we outlined above, you would be hard pressed to purchase the kinds and selection of life like 'silk' flowers you see on this site at your local craft store. But you still may hope to buy some of them in bulk, individually/ by the stem, for a DIY project of making your own wedding floral arrangements. After all, others claimed to be succesful in their search.
A growing problem in the blogosphere is a misleading advice about where you can find/ purchase real touch flowers. The advice goes as follows: "Go to a craft store of chain X, Y or Z and you will find them there and, if you have a 40% or 50% off coupon you can buy them cheap/ at a discount". So, acting on a recommendation of your peers (who base their opinion on a repeated ad nauseum advice of others, who are more often than not the industry shills themselves), in your search of highest quality but cheap artificial flowers you may visit one/ some of these stores.
You can assess some of them as "real enough" or "fairly real" but, not fully satisfied, you may still question: "Can these be undoubtedly considered as true real touch flowers?" "Are these the best fake flowers available?" The answer is a resounding: No! Would you really expect to find them there and be cheap, too? So let's get back to the sources where you got your advice from and analyze their credibility.
How do you know if postings published on various bridal forums, recommending certain craft stores and online wholesalers to the public are really originating from brides-to-be, like you? How about the posters whose profiles reveal hardly any information beside their (bogus) wedding dates? How about those glowing reviews on popular wedding discussion boards telling you how fine flowers some places provide and how easily it was to make them into great looking bouquets, promising pictures that were never shown thereafter? Fake product and company reviews (along with bogus, bought 'likes' on Facebook and companies' pages), planted by shills, are on a rise on the internet.
What Kinds Of Silk Flowers Are Really Available In Craft Stores?
Let's look closer at selection of man-made flowers available in "recommended" craft stores.
Almost all flowers you can see at craft store chains are still your traditional, basic 'silks', varying from 2 to 4 (rarely 5) quality grade. And although you can find in some of them a very limited choice (in kinds and colors) of permanent botanicals displayed as true or soft touch flowers, they are in fact mainly the cheaper versions and/ or second rate real touch flowers. You will see there predominantly real touch knockoffs, which are made with ordinary (industrial grade) soft or hard, either latex, rubber, vinyl or foam.
Craft store chains cater to the mass market, for DIY customers but not specializing in artificial flowers in particular, less in the top of the line permanent botanicals sought by high-end professional "silk" flower shops. So their prices also reflect the mass market needs. Nevertheless, you will find that better looking, more realistic silk flowers there are not cheap at all. Therefore, retail value of genuinely lifelike, authentic grade 6/ real touch 'silk' flowers would not fit well within these stores' price structures and could be not perceived as 'affordable' by great majority of their customers.
True Cost Of High Quality, Professionally Crafted Artificial Wedding Floral Arrangements
You can enjoy the look of selected state-of-the-art artificial bridal floral arrangements in brilliant designs and created with the highest craftsmanship in our online Catalog of our own, unique 'standard' designs. You can also see examples of our diverse clientele (with photographs of our both standard and custom work) at our Testimonials page and thus appreciate why we wish to ensure that our customers' special days are as special as possible. Over the years, we invented, developed and perfected never existed before, proprietary assembly/arranging techniques (very different than for fresh cut flowers), applied only with the ultimate top quality real touch, Floramatique® and higher grades of traditional silk flowers. As a result (of the accumulated theoretical and practical knowledge of all kinds of fake flowers, floral materials and accessories, and long-term experience in the field of artificial floral artistry) we can offer you superior finished products, truly worthy of your special day.
All we know is that if you want your precious bride's bouquet and your wedding party's flowers be well-constructed, color- and flower-balanced, content-diverse and looking as aesthetically pleasing as ours, a great deal of talent/ creativity, floral expertise, experience and a fair amount of time to craft them are needed. All backed by the wide selection and plentiful stock of and an access to credible sources of the highest quality fake flowers, best ribbons, accessories and materials, of course. Would you expect high quality floral arrangements to be cheap, then?
Myths About DIY & Becoming/ Replacing A Wedding Florist In No Time
Some brides-to-be want to learn how to make fake flower wedding bouquets. You may think that there is not much to it - just putting flowers together and tying ribbon around the stems :). That peculiar "method" may work if you decide to make yourself a simple bouquet by wrapping a dozen of roses together, or a plain centerpiece by sticking stems into a vase. The process of arranging wedding flowers is not that straightforward, though. Have you ever heard about wiring and stemming flowers before combining them in an arrangement? And this is just one of many specific techniques that should be applied.
Some florists, eager to re-sell you stems and forgetting that they should be paid for flower arranging, may tell you that it is not too difficult to make great designs once you have good quality artificial flowers. It's hard to believe that they would undermine their own profession and putting themselves out of business with such offers and statements! Because, by saying that they create a false impression that about anyone can replace them. The same "opinion" is proliferated by paid shills for online resellers of artificial flowers in bulk to the public (and fresh ones for that matter) and for craft stores. No wonder two thirds (or more) flower shops in America went out of business during the last decade - the pressure from wannabe artificial florists (having no idea how to price their work to make a profit; hello Etsy!) and giving away the information by florists themselves did the trick.
Would you attempt to cut and style someone's hair just because you have scissors and a comb? Floral design is a skilled profession. And like any skilled professionals, experienced florists who call themselves designers have a right to charge for their talent, skills, experience and labor, at fair market value. The cost of flowers and materials for your wedding floral arrangements is but one element of a finished product's price. And if you are a 'diva', wanting a variety of (often rare and expensive, as seen often in bridal magazines) flowers in elaborate and time-consuming designs, do not expect that a florist would make your arrangements 'on a cheap'.
Nevertheless, some of brides-to-be believe that they can rely on online tutorials or in-print instructions on how to make a bridal bouquet with faux flowers and easily create one themselves, or count on their 'crafty' relatives or friends to do so. That's fine, but do not expect great results, as you may be easily disappointed by the final outcome if you choose a too 'ambitious', elaborate DIY project. If you are an 'enterprising bride' (hello Toronto!) we recommmend to stick to maximum 2 kinds of flowers for your DIY. Otherwise you may 'trip' yourself on countless hours of frustration and labor spent in the attempt to arrange them right.