3 must have silk fabrics for making flowers and MORE

taster fabric packSHOP OUR RANGE OF PROFESSIONAL  FABRICS FOR FLOWER MAKING HERE 

One of the evergreen questions I get to hear is about what fabrics for making flowers are considered the best and should be used.

I must admit navigating in the sea of fabrics can be very daunting especially if you are quite new to the art of flower making. What exactly is satin and do you really need pure silk? Questions, questions, questions…
In short, flowers can probably be made with any fabric, but the end result will differ. If you wish to make detailed realistic delicate flowers you will need to choose certain fabrics that have proven to work well for couture flowers.
Here I present my short guide to the 3 must have fabrics you’ll require when you start making flowers. These 3 fabrics are a good starting point for the beginner.  Once you have become  more experienced and confident you will be able to expand the list of fabrics that can be used in flower making (we’ll talk about some other fabrics during the next weeks).
Before I start, let’s clarify the difference between a fabric and a finish. Fabrics are cotton, silk, linen, rayon or polyester, to name a few. Finishes are terms like crepe, taffeta, and satin. That said, “satin” does not mean silk fabric as satin can be made out of polyester, rayon or other fibers. Not all of the fabrics will be equally good for our purpose.
Silk Crepe de Chine
is light and fine plain woven dress fabric. Crepe de Chine  has a slightly crepe character, a feature produced by the use of weft, or filling, yarns spun with the twist running in reverse directions.
This fabric is great for us for several reasons:

 ~ it is very forgiving, pliable, pleasant and easy to work with

~ it frays very very little if at all which makes it suitable for small and large flowers

~ it has no right or wrong side which works well for some designs

I would strongly recommend using this type of fabric for flower petals. It dyes well too.
I have a tutorial on SILK CLOVER that demonstrate how to work with Crepe de Chine, which is perfect for this small flower.

 

Very unusual humble flower of clover is perfect for summer flower crowns and hat trims. Fiddly to make out of fabric but well worth the effort for that special project you have in mind.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FABRIC CLOVER TUTORIAL

 

 


Silk Satin

When we think of silk, the texture we usually visualise is satin.This fabric is formed with a satin weave and can be made out of various fibers including silk, nylon, or polyester. It is smooth and soft to the touch, and usually quite lightweight. Satin has a subtle sheen, meaning it will catch and reflect the light.
This fabric is your first choice when making fabric leaves. It allows to imitate the glossy smooth surface of real foliage.
But it will make beautiful rose petals too (as well as any other petals). So experiment with it and try using it for both: fabric leaves and fabric petals.
Unlike crepe, satin fabric has the right (shiny) side and wrong (matte, crepe-like) side to it.
Silk satin is a popular fabric with flower makers and customers alike so I have prepared a number of tutorials that use satin.
 This video tutorial on silk camellias is marked “Intermediate” but will be perfectly suitable for beginners. Learn to cut flower parts, paint them with silk colours, shape with millinery tools and assemble into one of a kind floral jewellery or hairpieces.
 LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CAMELLIA FLOWER VIDEO TUTORIAL

A more complicated video tutorial on a large English rose hair comb is recommended for the flower makers with some experience. Satin silk can be used for both the petals and the foliage.
 LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ENGLISH ROSE VIDEO TUTORIAL

Concise and easy to follow photo tutorial on silk leaves shows how to back leaves with a layer of thin silk and shape them with millinery tools to achieve a realistic look. You also get several leaf templates. 
 LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FABRIC LEAVES PHOTO TUTORIAL

 

Silk pongee

is a plain woven thin fabric. It is also known as China silk or Habutai (Habotai). The fabric is lighter in weight than other silks. Quite often it is used for lightweight scarves.

In flower making pongee is a secret agent. That is it’s not really seen but often plays a vital role in creating silk floral designs. It is widely used for backing leaves and petals as well as wrapping stems of flowers with silk. It can also be used for small filling petals in large roses, peonies or other fairly large multipetal flowers.
I also use it for a number of jobs in leather flower making. Definitely a must have fabric for your stash.
 The fabrics I have listed above are just few out of a whole range of different fabrics that can be used for making flowers.
But they are great to begin with. I would recommend you should obtain pure silk fabrics for the following reasons:

❀ they are easy to work with and will provide a predictable result
❀ they dye easily and beautifully
❀ they will take the heat of a flower iron and tools well
Best places to purchase these silks are online batik and art shops. If you google them in your area you will be able to find local suppliers.If you are a UK based maker, please feel free to contact me if you need any assistance finding shops to bgolden backing fabricuy these silks, I will be happy to help.

There are a lot of other fabrics to talk about with regards to flower making. We discuss them in detail in our newsletter. Stay tuned! If you have not yet, feel free to join the list below.

Some professional prestiffened fabrics for flower making are available in our online shop.

Currently we are offering the following professional fabrics for you to try and fall in love with with:

➡ FABRIC TASTER PACK 

➡ GOLDEN, SILVER or PEARL LAME SATIN

➡ RAYON ORGANZA FABRIC

➡ THIN RAYON BACKING FABRIC

➡ RAYON SATIN FABRIC

➡ GOLDEN, SILVER or PEARL BACKING FABRIC

➡ WHITE or BLACK COTTON VELVET FABRIC

Should you require any specialist fabrics for your project, feel free to get in touch with us at enquiries@presentperfectcreations.com to place a custom order.

 

glue for making flowers

Choosing the right glue for making flowers

To glue or not to glue? Let’s talk about choosing the right glue for making flowers

glue for making flowers

 

You can now buy the glue that has been specifically developed for making flowers. To find out more about this glue click here 

 

I receive a lot of emails with questions on different aspects of flower making. One of such burning questions is about choosing the right glue for making flowers with either fabric or leather.
I am not sure if I have mentioned this, but Japan is the country where the craft of making artificial flowers has truly blossomed into a real art. Therefore, there are all sorts of supplies available to those who decide to take it up ranging from various industrially prestiffened fabrics to special dyes and brushes, wires, stamens etc. etc. not to mention the oh-so-important glue.

choosing the right glue for making flowers Whilst it is easy and enjoyable to work with authentic materials, it is not always achievable. None of us live in Japan so we must find a replacement that we could purchase in our own country if we want to make good quality fabric flowers.
I live and work in Britain but I will try to offer alternatives that are going to be widely available (hopefully) as well as explain to you what you should look for.
In case if you were wondering I only work with PVA white glue. I never use any superglue or a hot glue gun in my works, although I know that other artists do use them. For the flowers made using the principles of the Japanese school 2 types of PVA glue are recommended. They are called soft and hard.
Soft glue is slightly less thick and takes longer to dry. It is used for gluing parts onto the backing allowing us enough tine to do that.
Hard glue is used for assembling jobs. You will particularly appreciate it when assembling large multipetal roses. Although very tacky and quick drying it still gives us time to reposition petals if we are not entirely satisfied with the way they have been assembled.

choosing the right glue for making flowers

 

 

Otherwise, you can get this best replacement for the Japanese hard glue that I have found, SOBO glue available on Amazon.
It is really thick and can is ideal for assembling flowers. It dries quickly and becomes clear once dry.

 

 

choosing the right glue for making flowers

As for the soft PVA glue there are several options available. For those of you who are in the UK, I would recommend to check out the tacky PVA glue from Hobbycraft (click here to go to their website)
Another option is PVA based fabric or wood glues which can also be used in flower making.
Also, have a look at this trial pack of tacky fabric glues by Aleene’s which look very promising.

By all means remember that both soft and hard glues are very thick and steer clear from stationary PVA glue that is meant to glue paper and card. Those are usually too runny for the job we do and can be very messy to work with.
I hope you have found this article useful and it will help you choose the right glue to work with.

Should you wish to receive answers to your questions, more in-depth information on how to make flowers out of fabric and leather as well as get discounts on our pdf and video tutorials please feel free to sign up for our updates here

fabric leaves tutorial

Want to know how to create realistic looking silk rose leaves with a 3D effect? Here’s how I do it

 
A lot of you have commented on the 3D effect my silk millinery leaves have wondering how I manage to achieve it. Now you can do it too with my new updated and extended e-book tutorial, which is available for purchase from my tutorials store for just £6.
 

 

fabric leaves tutorial
https://presentperfectcreations.com/product/millinery-fabric-leaves-photo-tutorial-pdf-format/

Packed with tips and hints this 20 page .pdf ebook  will teach you how to create impressive fabric millinery leaves for you projects every time. I have included the patterns too.

You can use an array of different fabrics, such as silks, velvet, lace to make just the right leaves you require. No more fruitless searches online when you can make them in a matter of minutes.

Who is this tutorial for:

  • milliners
  • accessory designers
  • silk flower makers
  • those, who know how to work with a flower iron and would like to improve their results.


I would NOT recommend this tutorial for:

  • complete novices in silk flower making
  • those, who DO NOT have a flower iron


The tools and the flower iron tips that are required for making the leaves are shown in the pictures below. Please have a look and if you are not sure you have all the tools you need please contact me via this blog before buying the tutorial to clarify any questions you might have.


The flower iron tips I was using in the tutorial
The flower iron tips that can be used alternatively

red workshop schedule for June and July (500x500)

 

For some  fresh news and insparation from the exciting world of handmade fabric flowers as well as tips, discounts and much more please subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t done this just yet. Should you wish to learn how to make silk flowers I am happy to share my know-how, knowledge and skills through individual and group hands on workshops in our studio in Stamford, Lincs. For the current schedule please visit our workshop page.

 

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