In Sednitz there is a artificial flower manufactory. For us handicraft fans an absolute must. We are always interested in hands doing something.
Until now we have never thought about how artificial flowers are made. Therefore we were very curious to learn more at the manufactory.
Directly behind the entrance there is the punch store. We were told that the real artists are the punch maker, because they form the metal punches according to nature. Leafs get here the peculiar form and veins and structures. Around 75.000 punches exist in the manufactory.
On the next floor you can watch the ladies, which craft day in day out flowers. The silk or taffeta – sometimes also cotton is used – is starched with gelatine. After that the forms are punched. The machines are very old and make a lot of noise, but they do work!
The punched cloth pieces are coloured according to the sort of flower. Colouring is made by hand through dunking or dipping and a lot is done by paint-brush. For each type of flower there is a receipt in a thick file. Around 250 different plants are made here.
Each part is handled and touched several times. Handles are glued to the leafs. The handle is made from wire which is upholsterd with fabric. The stamens are wrapped and bundled and everything is put together, glued, formed with hot needles and bowed.
And like in nature itself no piece looks like the other. It is handicraft and a form of art.
Unfortunately there are no successors and a training for this job does not exist any more. 11 Workers are left in the show manufactory and the youngest is 48 years old. So it is a profession in danger of extinction, which is too bad. Museums of Natural Science need sometimes very seldom plants which are produced as purpose-built items.
At the end of the round tour you can buy the oevres in a shop and you can get a customized bouquet. A sample hall and a wedding room complete the tour and provide an insight into the world of silk flowers. A fascinating handicraft!