Before we move on to the practical part of our lessons, let's delve into the history of this wonderful needlework (if you want to skip to the knowledge, please press here):
The art of making silk flowers, or as it is called in some editions and books from Japan - somebana, nunobana or tanzhobana - has a rich history. History of manufacturing flowers of fabric originates from Ancient Egypt, 3 thousand years BC. Artificial flowers are mentioned in the Book of the Kings, the Old Testament. To check the King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba used the puzzles: one of the puzzles for Solomon was to find out which lilies were the living ones, and which ones were artificial. In this he was helped by the bees which alighted on natural flowers only.
Egyptians decorated the palaces with artificial flowers; specifically for this they made special vases with holes. In the clothing and hats they also used artificial flowers and compositions of them.
Wreaths, garlands, bouquets were twined of flowers. There were not so many masters of flower making; therefore they were very valuable and equated to the artists.
Further, the art of flower making spread in Greece, where the flowers were made of papyrus silk.
In different countries artificial flowers were made of wax, paper and silk. Flowers were used in the clothing of monks, in temples, monasteries.
For example, in ancient China, artificial flowers were made of porcelain, gold, clay, parchment. It is clear that the flowers of gold and precious stones on rings, brooches, hairpins were costly valued and not accessible to everyone. To decorate the house with flowers, ordinary people required cheaper materials close to the naturalistic – paper, fabric.
In the Middle Ages, Japanese women ceased to wear a straight hair and began to style their hair in a special way. For their coiffure was not falling apart and kept all day long, they began to use combs, hairpins and hair clips, which they decorated with flowers of ribbons – kanzashi. Initially, the hieroglyph of “kanzashi” came from the addition of two words: "kami" - "hair" + "sasu" - "to pin", i.e. hairpin.
In the ancient East of III - IV centuries, there arose the art of flower arrangements "ikebana" – creating of compositions from cut flowers in special vessels and placing them in the interior. The translation of "ike" or "ikeru" Japanese 生ける — “life”, "bana" or "khana" Japanese 花 — “flowers”, i.e. literally "living flowers". Ikebana was also made up of artificial flowers. Flowers of silk became an integral part of daily life in Japan.
But there is a question: gelatin fabric processing, who invented it? It turns out that these were Dominican monks who in the middle of 17th century used the melted gelatin for the impregnation of fabric and its further use in the manufacture of artificial flowers. This precise event affected the development and spread of the art of making flowers of silk.
By the end of 18th century, the main players on the market of artificial flowers were France, Italy and Switzerland. With the proliferation of flower-making art, there appeared special tools for their manufacture, new fabric processing technologies, as well as dyeing, manufacture of dyes and auxiliary materials.
Thus, little by little, this kind of art is taking over the whole world. Now both we and you are at the mercy of beautiful and not fading flowers. Step by step you will make your flowers more realistic and similar to the original. Arm yourself with a little patience and you will surely succeed. Let’s get started!
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