Silk has long been revered as one of the most beautiful materials known to man, boasting a natural sheen and a coolness of touch that few other materials have. For centuries, this attraction to silk has been extreme, especially in the clothing industry where pure silk dresses and shirts are so highly prized. There can be little surprise, then, that silk plants are also keenly sought after.
Once upon a time, these plants were an extravagant example of craftsmanship that won plaudits at state fairs across the country, and were the ones that hotels were happy to invest grandly in to give guests a sense of luxury when they walked through the doors. These days, they are a key aspect of interior business landscaping both in terms of large and small floral displays.
Indeed, the market for artificial plants has grown dramatically in recent decades, with a range of materials coming into favor from time to time. However, in recent years, silk has regained its place as the favored material with which to enhance the interior landscape of an office or reception area. But designers are keen to highlight that it is not just because silk looks pretty.
Quality of Plants
The quality of plants made of silk is particularly high. In the past, silk was colored and then cut into the shape of a leaf or petal, and then applied to a framework, usually made of wire. However, that simple process has been replaced by high tech precision machines that are capable of creating perfectly measured plant parts. Not only that, but the coloring has become so exact that every aspect of shading can be allowed for.
The result is that, both visually and physically, these plants have real depth to them, making them very difficult to differentiate from real flowers. In fact, the silk materials used are made in such a manner as to replicate as closely as possible the texture of a real petal, bud or leaf.
So, even touch, which was once a sure give away when identifying an artificial plant, is no longer a reliable way to tell the difference.
There was a time when the petals on silk flowers and foliage on plants would fray over time, making the plant itself look dowdy and old. But the processes involved in manufacturing these plants have been perfected, ensuring this is no longer a concern, and the plants maintain their impressive appearance for much longer.
Of course, artificial plants, tend to last much longer than real plants. They require little or no maintenance, can never die so do not need to be replaced regularly, need no watering and no feeding. Silk always enjoyed these same traits, but since silk frays less easily now, the durability of silk artificial plants is even greater than it once was.
No Fire Hazard
As a choice of artificial plant material, silk may have succeeded in regaining its place at the top table in the eyes of interior landscapers for its quality and durability, but others favor it for different reasons. With fire and safety regulations being so important for all buildings, the fact that silk flowers, trees and plants have passed a range of tests makes it an acceptable material.
Silk is a fire retardant and has passed both the NFPA 701 and the ASTM E84 tests, with the result that interior landscapers know it will not harm the fire-safety status of an office. Other materials, such as plastic and nylon can release toxic fumes when set ablaze, making them not just a fire hazard but a health hazard also.
The fact that silk plants are now considered a safe option, as well as a precise replica boasting quality and extreme beauty, makes them impossible to ignore. Little wonder then, that interior designers and landscapers are happy to use them as an alternative to real plants, and that safety officers in workplaces are happy to accept them too.
Needless to say, as far as office workers are concerned, it is the fact that these plants make the interior landscape at work so much more pleasing that matters most. The degree of creativity, reliability and durability that silk boasts makes it a favorite once again when business landscaping plans are being agreed between seasoned landscapers and their clients.