Know How

SUNFLOWERS parchment & paper AM*F
SUNFLOWERS parchment & paper

A bit of history

PARURIER FLORAL is a very old and charming art & craft. Already at ancient times, artificial flowers ornamented ceremonies and banquets. Wreaths made of flowers and leaves were worn by all – women as well as men and children. And animals too, whenever there was a reason to adorn or celebrate

The flower fashion continued through centuries but with World War II most workshops disappeared. The lack of precious materials, disponible women hands and the spirit who wasn’t really into making flowers, put almost an end although some ateliers did survive creating millenary accessory for Haute couture.

However, we should not forget that in old times to make something so beautiful and delicate, was a hard, time consuming, low payed and sometimes health damaging profession.

MANET study of the barmaid
MANET detail

Throughout the western history, women and men of all social classes were charmed by and liked to wear flowers. To be sewn on a dress or slipped in the lapel buttonhole on the jacket. And as an ornament for the obligatory hat. But the exigences of the modern woman for an independent and practical life, put the Sunday hat with its delicate colorful flowers on the shelf.

The link in-between the natural flower and the artificial flower, is the human hand. The hand that creates what the eyes sees and what the soul feels.

The artificial flowers made by Anita Matell * FLORÈS resists the cold season and the passing years, transforming a common garment, by the shape and color of the flower, to a personal statement of STYLE.

Vivien Leigh Ladies Home journal 1929
Vivien Leigh Ladies Home journal 1929
Harper's Bazaar 1968
Harper’s Bazaar 1968

The Making of a Flower in silk

The steps to follow making a Flower in silk are many and precise.

Anita Matell * FLORÈS realizes all steps of the flower in her workshop. The idea, the sketch, the preparation of the material, the cut, the dyeing, the embossing and shaping of the petals and the assembling of the flower according to its specific nature.

Flower making tools in cast iron

After the petals has been cut with scissors or with special ancien punching tools, they are tinted in color baths or with a brush for more subtle coloring. The dyed petals are pressed and dried and there are often surprises in the out coming shades. To be in an experimental mood and armed with patience is necessary.


Finally – the shaping and making of the flower can start.

Water and Fire are necessary to shape the delicate flower … as humidity and heat. The petals are humidified and the shaping tools are heated by the naked flame.

Color bath for red peonies

The petals, kept humid in a cloth, are taken out one by one to be shaped differently as the final flower requires.

One after one the petals are put on a special pillow filled with natural bran to permit the shaping process and absorb humidity. There are many different gestures and tools to master. In the larger flower ateliers, craftsmen and women were often specialized in one kind of a flower. The Rose maker, the Camellia maker, the tiny flower maker…

Making of Peonies

After the heart of pistils is prepared, the petals are posed one by one around the center, secured with a strong thread and a little bit of glue is allowed. This process is called “The Flowering” and the flower gets its shape according to basic botanical rules and of course the sensitivity of the maker.

To make a beautiful flower demands patience, concentration, experience. Skilled hands and a good eyesight.

To be a flower lover is a plus!

Paris based teacher Dominique Pilliard is a master of knowledge and ingenuity in the art of making flowers. And generous in sharing.



A poppy is born