Floral Foam...The Thing A Florist Can't Live Without
Before there were floral foams, imagine how florists would arrange their flowers. They had to use newspapers.
When they started coming into the picture, florists all over the world were overwhelmed. It made their work easier and the arrangements they produced were better and lasted longer.
There are many kinds in the market, but what do we really want in a floral foam?
Below are some the key characteristics that we want, that will make flower arranging easier.
What We Need In A Floral Foam
It needs to absorb water quickly. We can't afford to wait half an hour for a floral foam to fully absorb water. It has to quickly absorb water and efficiently, that means no dry spots inside the foam.Then, we can straight away use it for our flower arranging.
It must not crumble. When handling the foam, the fine particles that make up the foam must not fall out. If so, the shape of the floral foam will be gone before we even start to use it. The shape must maintain.
Once it has absorbed water, it must be able to retain the water absorbed. No point of having to absorb all the water and then to easily lose it in a short time. It must retain the water for a long time so that the flowers can last longer.
A good foam should have a strong flower holding power. When inserting flowers, it must be able to hold the weight of the flowers.
Types Of Floral Foam
Wet foam Wet foam is used for fresh flowers. Highly water absorbent and very fine and compact.
The wet foam is also available in many forms. Some are shaped into balls or spheres, for making pomanders or interesting centerpieces.
For the use of bridal bouquets, they come with plastic holders.
For the use of wreaths, they come with a plastic container in the shape of doughnut or heart-shape. It all depends on what you're making.
Dry foam This is used for artificial flower arrangements. Non-porous and coarse.
Color foam Goes under the brand name of Rainbow Foam, only available from Smithers Oasis, a reknowned manufacturer of floral foam. It comes in block form, powder form, cube form and sphere form.
You can choose from the 15 colors available : baby pink, cherry, charcoal, violet, pumpkin, ivory, lime green, sunny yellow, fuchsia, blue, hunter green, royal blue, rusty red, prairie grass and plum.
When working with floral foams
When absorbing the foam with water
First, let the foam sit on water. Let the water enter the foam by itself, naturally.
Do not attempt to push down the foam into the water or apply water from top.
When you try to make the foam absorb water from the top, the air in the middle will be trapped and this will make the inner part of the foam dry.
When setting the foam in the container
Cut the foam using a special knife (foam cutting knife), according to the size of the container.
After the foam has absorbed water, place the foam into the container.
After the foam is placed into the container, use the foam cutting knife to cut away the edges of the foam.
When pushing down the foam into the container, avoid pressing too hard as it will cause the absorbed water to exit the foam.
To fix the foam in its location, use a tape. From one end of the container, run the tape across the foam, to the other end of the container.
When running the tape across the foam, the tape can be folded and inserted into the foam. This is to provide larger surface area for flower insertion.
Another tip is, try to use a single block of foam in an arrangement. If you want to save and use multiple pieces of foam, it will not hold the flowers as strong as a single piece can.
When inserting flower into the foam
Avoid inserting the same flowers many times. This will cause unnecessary holes in the foam and thus loss of water.
Also, avoid inserting flowers in the same place. This will create a bigger hole for the flower and may not hold the flower strongly.
When creating an arrangement with height and volume
When you want to create an arrangement with height and volume, you must leave some foam with considerable height from the opening of the container.
So, have your foam cut so that half of it is placed inside the container and the other half, above the container for flower insertion.
When you want to save foam
When your container is big, you might not want to fill up the whole container with floral foam.
What you can do is place something inside the bottom of the container, then place the foam on top of it for flower insertion.