Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Flowers, Artificial. The manufacture of artificial flowers is carried on by various races, both civilised and savage, and many different materials are employed in their construction. Uapaper is in use among the Chinese, while the natives of the Bahama Islands are skilful in making flowers out of shells. In Europe the chief seats of the industry are in 1'rance, England, and the Netherlands. Artificial flowers are chiefly used for decorating ladies' dresses; the methods employed in their manufacture have much improved of late years, and the industry now gives employment to a large number of persons, many of whom are women and children. The flowers are generally made of cambric, fine calico, crape, muslin, satin, and similar materials. The ordinary process is as follows: - The pistil and stamens are the first part finished; they consist of pieces of sewing silk, the tips of which are moistened with gum and then powdered with flour, tinted yellow, to give the appearance of pollen. These are attached to a piece of wire, and, after the petals and sepals have been placed round them, the whole is securely bound together with fine thread or silk. The stalk is formed by the addition of other wires, also placed within the thread, and surrounded by green tissue paper. To these the leaves are fastened by pieces of fine wire, the lower extremities of which are hidden by the tissue paper. The petals, sepals, and leaves are produced by means of stamping machines or punches, called "irons," which differ according to the size and form required. They are then subjected to the process called "goffering," which consists in giving them a rounded or curled form by means of an iron ball, which is heated and pressed down on the petal or leaf, the latter being previously laid on a cushion. The ribs and veins of the leaves are produced by other kinds of goffering-irons. The variety in the tint of a petal is imitated by dipping it in coloured liquid and then moistening it with water, after which more dye is added in the part where the deepest tinge is required; the additional colour then radiates outwards producing less effect the farther it moves from its centre. A gloss is given to the upper surface of leaves by covering them with gum-arabic and scattering powdered nap of cloth over the gum when it has become sufficiently dry. Powdered glass and potato-flour also are sometimes dusted over the leaves and petals.