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Design Study…Preservation Considerations and Challenges with Red Flowers


What would a February newsletter for the floral industry be without an obligatory red heart?!  Fortunately, these red hearts provide a perfect segue to take a look at how red flowers preserve and some of the things that we at Keepsake must consider when designing with them. 

Most red flowers deepen in tone during the dehydration portion of the preservation process .. some more than others.  Freedom roses, for example, remain more vibrant in color, whereas a black magic rose can deepen almost to a dark purple-ish black.  Often times clients want their flowers to appear very very close to the color of the flowers when they were fresh.  This requires significant color-work to be tackled after the dehydration process is complete, but before the final design is done. 

Our designers and colorists will often blend paint colors that you would not expect to lighten and brighten the darker flowers (oranges or pinks before any red is applied) in order to achieve color true to the original fresh version of the flower. Other red flowers tend to darken as well, requiring similar color-enhancing creativity, but none so much as roses.  Plus roses have such a broad span of color and take up a larger amount of space within a keepsake that their re-coloring is well-noticed within a keepsake.  Interestingly enough, upon preservation, the inside of the read rose petals are absolutely white. 

If a red rose petals cracks, we can see the white interior of the petal.  Amazing that the interior flesh is white, but makes it quite a tedious task to work quickly with red roses post preservation. 

Other flowers whose interior flesh is significantly white are red gerbers.  The back of the gerber petals is lighter when fresh, but significantly more beige and / or white upon preservation.  Mother Nature continues to surprise. And our Keepsake designers continue to do their best to keep up with, and sometimes, defy Mother Nature’s rules.