Preserving Flowers With Glycerine

Preserving flowers with glycerine is one of the oldest forms of flower preservation that has been employed by amateur hobbyists and professionals alike. These methods have been tried and tested over the centuries, perfected with age and the introduction of new materials as well. Today, glycerine alone is no longer used to preserve flowers with new-age chemicals coming into the picture but if you are still interested in doing things the old way, you will find that preserving flowers with glycerine is something that you can easily do at home and even take to the next level using variations of the process as you get more accustomed to it.

The Traditional Glycerine Usage

The process of preserving flowers with glycerine is all about finding the right combination of flower and material. You need to pick your flowers early in the morning, but make sure all the dew has naturally evaporated. Then, you need to trim the flower of any leaves and petals for any imperfections - remove what you don't want or might make your final feature lose its touch of natural beauty and grace. Then, you head into the part of working with the glycerine.

First, the glycerine needs to be heated to about 130 or 140 degree Fahrenheit. This is important because it makes absorption easier and you need to be careful when handling this hot glycerine. In olden times, when preserving flowers with glycerine, people would put heated water into the glycerine as the water was act as a bit of a natural-freshening agent as well as a natural preservative. This would give the flowers a hydrated look, something that worked well when preserving flowers.

Today, you can get a liquid preservative from the same hobby or craft store where you got the liquid glycerine and that will give you the kind of longevity you want after you are done with your flowers. Add the preservative to create a 2:1 ratio of glycerine : preservative, and then place that heated glycerine in a container. Finally, you need to crush the bottom of the stem of each flower, about two-inches from where you cut it off of the plant, and place that flower (along with the attached stem) into the container of warm glycerine. You can use a hammer or a pair of tongs to crush the stem, but make sure you don't tear it off - and just create enough structural damage on the stem to allow the glycerine to seep in.

Leave the stems and flowers in the solution for about 3- to 4-weeks and slowly, the flowers will absorb the glycerine through their stems. For smaller and more delicate flowers, you can place them into a container with warm glycerine, without the stem, and leave them submerged for the same amount of time. What you will get, in either case, is a flower that has a natural suppleness and freshness to it.

The Vermont Process of Preserving Flowers with Glycerine

When it comes to the use of modern materials, the process of preserving flowers with glycerine changed when a French couple, Paul and Ginette Lambert, in Kenya decided to try their hand at varying the kind of chemicals that were used to enhance the life of these preserved flowers. They came up with something, now, known as the Vermont Process, which is ideal for preserving roses. Flowers tend to look natural by maintaining their original shape and this process also adds natural suppleness to it.

The difference between the Vermont process and the traditional way of preserving flowers with glycerine, but this way also involved adding in a few different things like putting in colour-enhancing agents as well as activation agents. As the name suggests, colouring agents would enhance the colours on the flowers and maintain a particular coloration throughout their "new natural life". Activation agents, on the other hand, will maintain the fresh and natural look of the flower, preventing it from shrinking into a shrivelled little mess.

Most people use this technique as a commercial way of preserving flowers with glycerine, even though you can do this in your own home, with nothing more than basic equipment. Foliage, along with flowers, can be preserved quite effectively using this technique and when done well, your final product may last for many years. People normally turn to the Vermont process of preserving flowers with glycerine when they are heading down the competition path or looking to place natural-looking flowers in a commercial establishment.

Not only does using glycerine make things better for your flowers, it also ensures that your hobby has long-lasting effects that are there for everyone to enjoy. You will spread a lot of colour, natural beauty and joy around you when you master the art of preserving flowers with glycerine.

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