The Manufactory

Did you ever want to see, how a rose petal gets its shape or a pansy gets its face? Here you can get a look over the shoulder of our staff. The individual flower ingredients, which have been elaborately punched, dyed and embossed are combined to the whole flower. Experience the individual operations and get expert information on all your questions.

From the fabric to the flower - the working steps

In the artifical flower trade we distinguish between the flowers used as accessories in the fashion industry, especially as hat and pin flowers, and the decoration flowers used for decorating banquet halls, stages, rooms, shop-windows and graves.

Let us now have a look at the basic working steps of fabric flower making.


All material required such as silk, velvet, batiste or cotton is purchased undyed and only given the desired shade of colour and finish when needed.

The dyer uses only a few primary colours to mix the desired shade. Hundreds of colour nuances and optical effects of the fabric qualities are possible.

Tere are two ways of dyeing: primary dyeing or manual dyeing. For the initial dyeing, the fabric ist dipped in a vat with dye or the dye is applied with a brush. For this purpose and for the subsequent drying, the fabric is streched on a wooden frame.


Once the vabric has been given its finish and basic colour, the flowers and leaves are punched out. For the punching out by hand a massive wooden hammer or the "buffalo", an iron mallet wrapped with leather, is used. A wooden punching block serves as a support.

Since about 1900 this strenuous work has been made easier by hand punching machines. Later also by motor punching machines. 

For the punching out several lengths of fabric are laid on top of each other.

For punching velvet, for example, two to four layers are laid on top of each other and for punching natural slik tweny-four layer.

Pressing and shaping

For the shaping of the leaves two-part pressing dies of metal are used. They consist of a female die and a male die ("Näppel und Kern"). Thus the desired grained and veined structure of the leaves and flowers ist created. 

The equipment used for this work are the screw press with handle and the pressing apparatus. In both apparatus the dies are heated and pressed into each other with high pressure. 

A particulary elaborate shape of leaves such as those for roses, lilac, myrtle or the lily of the valley, is traditionally made by hand while the leaf to be shaped is lying on a thick little sandbag and shaped (pressed) with an iron ball-tipped chisel that is heated too.

flower assembling and arranging

In the flower assembling and arranging department the flower maker women put the individual pieces together, arranging bouquets, garlands, wreaths and other floral arrangements.

For joining the individual flower components almost the same materials have been used since 1834: glue, thin wire and coloured paper or silk threads. The pin and hat flowers are provided with an additional fabric sleeve pulled on the wire stem.

The most important tools used are: tweezers for fixing and arranging the leaves, scissors and awl, ball-tipped chisel and rippler for shaping the petals.