How artificial floral evolved to “Real Touch” Floral
Artificial flowers are popular today and make up a large international market. They are commonly used as interior decorating items in residential, commercial, hospitality suites, casino resorts, and model homes. However, many people perceive artificial flowers as low quality and cheap because they do not look and feel natural. This was once true because artificial flowers were generally produced with plastic or silk materials. They didn’t display vivid colors and didn’t have the same soft moisture feel like a real flower. But these perceptions are changing because today’s technology has made it possible to have high-quality artificial flowers that are very close looking to live flowers and plants.
Many manufacturing processes were invented back in the 1950s to better structure artificial flowers using a combination of metal and plastic. In the early 1980s, a few companies started to use a plastic stem molded around a reinforcing wire. Petals were made of silk and mounted on the terminal of the stem. The same technique has been used for several decades with minor improvements. Those artificial flowers may easily get deformed or damaged during the transit, storage, and usage process. These have many problems due to the unnatural look and feel. They tend to lose their color and luster easily and quickly. That’s why when people refer to artificial flowers, they think about super cheap silk flowers. Over time, the public has come to agree with this sentiment.
In the mid 2000’s, a new artificial flower manufacturing technology transformed the faux floral industry. This artificial foliage technology used polyurethane foam instead of plastic or silk to offer a more natural look and feel, which sometimes can be mistaken as a real flower. During the process, a mixture of polyether and polyurethane compose a lightweight foam that is poured into the molds to form artificial flowers' components. Various colors are injected directly into the foam, then additionally sprayed onto the surfaces and heated to cure the desired colors permanently. Over a decade, this new methodology has been adopted by various manufacturers to create a wide range of flower designs.
Today polyurethane flowers are often referred to as “real touch”, “soft touch” and “natural stem” flowers.