One crafty afternoon, my assistant Montita came over with her flower-making supplies to teach me the art of pressed millinery flower making. Montita was a silk flower maker in Thailand, and she is a fount of wisdom on the subject. Let me just say it’s a difficult and time-consuming process. Here’s what we went through to make one fluffy flower:
1. Boiled clear gelatin with water to make a liquid, and spread it onto sheets of fabric. Hung them outside to dry.
2. Tested out the irons to make sure they weren’t so hot that they would melt or burn the fabric.
3. Hand cut petals from our stiffened fabric. We used silk dupioni and a thinner poly silk.
4. Used over 4 different iron tips on each petal to achieve the exact curve, curl, and wrinkle we were going for.
5. Stacked each layer of petals, and sewed them together using pearls as “stamens”.
Here is the result! I made this super simple ivory flower with freshwater pearl center especially for my friend Kim to wear on her wedding day. I’m so honored that she wore one of my first hand-pressed creations on her big day!
Image courtesy of Orange Turtle Photography.
Here is a more complex peony flower that I made for one of my dearest clients to wear next weekend on her wedding day. The lace bits compliment the rustic Spanish feel of her wedding perfectly.
These flowers are so much effort, but they are infinitely more beautiful than some silk flower you’d buy from a craft store, chop off the stem, and glue to a hair clip. I’ve been experimenting with different fabrics, fabric dyes, and iron tips to see what comes of it.