Here's a little Q&A with Dawn on preserved flora, drying techniques and what makes our product a little different from the rest of the pack. All are questions that we've had from customers over the months. Enjoy!
Michael: What’s the difference between “dried and “preserved” flowers?
Dawn: That’s a great question! The term “dried flowers” refer to almost everything you see on the market. Most florists have a practical side to drying flowers. It is a good way to use overbloomed specimens destined for the bin by simply turning them upside down to prevent the further drooping of the flower head and waiting for the materials to turn crisp and dry.
Here at Confetti, we procure our flowers for the express purpose of preserving them. Now, some materials do benefit from simply being turned upside down, but we make sure that this happens when the flowers are at their peak so as to benefit from the optimal shape and colour.
In most other cases, we preserve our plant materials through chemical and temperature processes. This will keep our flowers, foliage and seed heads from becoming bone dry which in turn prevents them from dropping too early in their lifespan as preserved flowers.
M: So, what is the lifespan of the product?
D: That’s something we get asked practically everyday. Some people expect dried, preserved flowers to last forever but that simply cannot be true!
These are organic, natural materials which will continue to dry out when you bring them home and although you might still be able to enjoy the flowers for years by keeping them in a quiet corner undisturbed, preserved flowers, truthfully, will last anywhere between two and six months — they will be at the peak of their beauty in terms of shape and colour during this time. After this period, the materials will start to drop and colours will begin to fade a little.
M: How should preserved flowers be kept?
D: Try keeping them in a cool room as heat and moisture accelerates decay and brittleness. Having your designs in a shaded area will also prevent bleaching from sunlight.
M: What’s the process in preserving flowers and why can’t I do this at home?
D: That’s an interesting question and the short answer is time, space, expense and expertise.
The time we take isn’t just the three to four weeks that it takes to properly preserve a bunch. It is the time that has gone into learning different techniques for different flowers, foliage and seed heads. We’ve taken a lot of trouble to do desktop research and physically experiment through trial and error. We’ve learnt what works and what doesn’t, what we can do and what our limitations are. We like to think that we’ve done the hard work so our customers don’t have to.
M: Why buy dried flowers instead of fresh flowers?
D: The first obvious answer is the longevity of the design. Fresh flowers are gorgeous but transient by nature; it’s heartbreaking when they don't live beyond five to 10 days.
Well-preserved materials, on the other hand, last for months. When a customer comes to us wanting something that can be gazed upon to commemorate a momentous occasion or a special time, dried flowers can really just hit the spot.
We also need to face facts that we live busy lives. Arranging a design and then be able to admire it for the following six months is a very attractive option for many working individuals.
Dried flowers also travel quite well so if a bridal couple comes to us planning a wedding out of Singapore, a preserved wedding bouquet is something that can be worked on ahead of time with results they can be very happy with. This can be far better (and less stressful) than working with a florist who is overseas and unknown to the couple that may yield unpredictable results.
M: How do you work with customers on bespoke designs?
D: As the old saying goes, pictures are worth a thousand words and we always recommend that our customers come to us armed with photos of the room they’re planning on decorating — the more the better! Different pictures can show us how the room is used, where and how the light falls at different times of the day, the colour and cast of the space… …
We talk to our customers to find out what their preferences are. Some people look for something to blend right into the room and others are looking for a focal point and, perhaps a contrast to what already exists in the space. There are also a variety of styles for different tastes: we love the “picked fresh from the garden” look but preserved materials can also be very modern and architectural as well.
We have many customers who bring in their own vases, bowls and containers to house the flowers and that’s one of our favourite things to do because nothing can be more bespoke than that. It’s one of a kind made especially for that person in that moment.