Are they real or fake?
That’s the question most customers ask when they walk into a silk flower shop these days. Only putting your nose to the petals and inhaling deeply reveals the truth.
"Silk flowers have improved so much over the years," says Donna Hall, co-owner of Bella Finé Home Decor in Mesa. "They look so real."
Advances in technology, mechanics and artistry have created silk flowers that are nothing like the plastic pieces your grandmother kept to brighten dark corners.
"Some of my clients are replacing their fresh floral with silk," says Shirlie Elliot, owner of Awesome Blossoms Interior Passions in Scottsdale.
Also known as permanent botanicals, silk flowers are now made from materials such as polyester, taffeta and rayon. High-quality silk flowers are hand-painted and hand-wrapped and will cost from $7 to $18 per stem.
"The more you pay, the better it’s going to look," says Elliot, who also works with dried flowers.
The varieties are limitless, but orchids, hydrangeas and roses are among the best-sellers. Even the greenery looks and feels real. The leaves on a sunflower in Elliot’s shop are velvety, and the naked seeded eucalyptus has texture and bendable stems.
In the window of her shop, Elliot points out the silk vegetables and fruits in a fall arrangement. The pears are slightly bruised, and that’s exactly how they should look.
"Nothing is ever perfect," says Elliot. Silk flowers are "perfect in their imperfection."
Silk flowers will last from five to seven years if you take care of them, says Hall. Just taking a blow-dryer and cleaning the arrangement once a month will prolong its life.
"If you don’t like it, you can go back and redo it," says Hall. "You don’t have that option with fresh floral."
Bella Finé Home Decor
166 W. Main St., Suite 102, Mesa (480) 668-8181 or www.bellafinedecor.com
Awesome Blossoms Interior Passions
8924 E. Pinnacle Peak Road, Scottsdale (480) 419-6543