Artificial Flower Grading Scale January 12, 2017 – Posted in: Tips and Tricks of the Trade
Artificial Flower Grading Scale
Materials – Artificial flowers are generally ranked on a scale from 1 to 6, with 6 being the highest quality silk flower you can buy. Although artificial flowers are commonly referred to as silk flowers, not all are made of silk. Only the higher grades of flowers will be make of silk, rayon, or cotton.
Botanical Accuracy – Another element used to grade silk flowers is the look of the flower. Many times just as important as the materials used, is the accuracy in which the flower was reproduced. A silk flower with a grade 6, will have the same colors, hues, petals, etc, as the live flower.
“Quick Start” Guide to Buying Artificial Flowers
Dollar Stores – Grade 1, sometimes Grade 2
Flea Markets – Usually Grade 1 or Grade 2, but you “may” get lucky and see a Grade 3
Craft Outlets – Some Grade 1, mostly Grade 2, sometimes Grade 3
Grades 4, 5 and 6, are professional grades. Higher quality materials are used, they look and feel more realistic, with moveable, individual flower components. Purchasing these higher grade silks can sometimes be a challenge. Rarely will you find them at a craft store. You will probably need to contact a silk flower design specialist, who has the access to order them. It will take longer, and the cost will be higher, but the result will be a more realistic and beautiful design.
Determining the Quality of the Artificial Flower
Low Quality artificial flowers (Grade 1 and Grade 2) are sometimes dotted with tiny balls of acrylic to imitate droplets of water. The petals of this poor quality artificial flower do not hold their shape well, and often fall off the stems. Upon close examination, the dyes are usually uneven, and the edges fray easily.
Medium Quality artificial flowers (Grade 3) look real from a distance, and are a better quality flower, but sometimes upon closer examination, they may not pass the “life-like” test.
High Quality artificial flowers Grades 4-6) have a more lifelike appearance, ranging from pretty realistic to ultra realistic. These flowers are used in arrangements at exclusive hotels, upscale restaurants, art galleries, and high-end boutiques. They can often be mistaken for fresh-cut flowers by an untrained eye.
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