A lot of men have been enjoying our boutonniere lapel flowers, but most don’t know what it takes to make them. Therefore we decided to show you the process of how these little lapel style enhancers are made, step by step, pretty much the same way they used to 100 years ago.
If you are into quality and craftsmanship, you must watch the video because it is impossible to describe in words how these little works of art are produced. We show you how Fort Belvedere boutonniere flowers are handmade from start to finish.
It All Starts With Mother Nature
Before we start making flowers, we get inspired by nature. For example, when we hike, we can find little, beautiful mountain flowers. If we go to the desert or if we just stroll around outside, we find these little flowers that are perfectly sized for our lapels.
Of course, we try to produce them as realistically as possible, and all of our boutonnieres are modeled after real flowers. There’s never a fantasy product.
Fabrics Are Always White
Once we’ve settled on a flower style, it’s time to choose the materials. Obviously, it all starts with the fabric. In the beginning, we always have a plain white undyed silk, or velvet, or other material that has the right thickness for that particular flower.
We only use plain white because the flowers are very delicate and it requires a special hand dying process, so they will look natural.
To ensure the material does not move, the fabric used to be fastened to a wooden board. Then, we select one of over a hundred thousand metal flower dye cuts to get the actual shape of the flower.
Traditionally, wooden hammers were used to dye cut the little flower shapes. Today, we are just slightly more progressive because we use a machine that is more efficient and secure for the workers.
In the next step, the fabric dye cuts are stacked on top of each other and then colored by hand in exactly the base color the flower has in nature.
Since most flowers have multiple colors and often gradients, they must be colored a second or a third time. Sometimes, just the tips until the desired color palette is completed. To achieve the intricate details of flowers, we use an airbrush.
As you can see, up until this point the flowers are two-dimensional or flat. To achieve a three-dimensional shape, the flowers are put between a male and female metal mold.With the help of heat and pressure, the flower achieves its natural shape.
Of course, different flowers have different molds. For example, here you can see how an Edelweiss gets its shape. For some flowers, each petal is shaped like that, and basically, the process is exactly like it used to be a hundred years ago. For example, the edges of roses must be carefully dyed and rolled by hand. Obviously, that’s a very labor intensive process.
Now it’s time for the filaments. To make those, wooden dividers are added to big reels. Then a yarn is starched and put onto the reel. Once the yarn is dried and starched, it is removed from the reel and cut into pieces, but they remain attached to the wooden bars because of the starch.
Depending on the flower, the thread tips are treated with the right colors and powders to make them look as authentic as possible. Once dried, they are removed from the wooden bars. Now, the yarns look like actual flower filaments that can be neutralized in silk flower making.
At this point, the flowers are ready to be assembled. It simply starts with the filaments which are usually attached to a metal wire. Again, this is done the same way today as it used to be.
A skilled flower maker knows exactly the right amount of filaments that is needed to create an authentic look. So the filaments are sorted and then bound to the wire and afterward carefully shaped by hand.
On the other hand, the petals of the flower are attached by different techniques. At the end of the day, it all has to look like a real boutonniere. For example, here you can see how poppy petals are attached one by one to the wire with glue. On the other hand, here you can see the fine filaments of the Edelweiss. Five of them are tied together by hand and then glue is added. Now, the smaller velvet dye cut is added to the stem from the bottom and then the second larger dye cut. Voila! That’s the Edelweiss boutonniere. Now for your comparison, here’s an edelweiss from mother nature in the Alps and a Fort Belvedere boutonniere. Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?
Once the head of the flower is completed, it’s still just a plain wire. We use a 100% green silk thread that is wrapped around the wire and afterward, the wire is bent, and it’s ready to go through the buttonhole on your lapel. As you can see, now you have a beautiful flower that won’t wilt. Once you have them on your lapel. it won’t take long before you get compliments.
As you can see, all of this is made by hand, and it takes about 30-40 minutes per flower to complete it. However, at Fort Belvedere, we believe that this kind of quality cannot be achieved any other way and that’s why we are committed to it.
Are you now ready to earn compliments?
We even have our packages of 3,6, and 12 flowers that come with free shipping and you can choose exactly what you want and save a bit too.
If you’re not sure where to start, I suggest you start with an edelweiss flower because it’s very versatile. The next flower could be blue cornflower because it also goes well with dark suits, blue suits, navy suits, but also sport coats.
As a third flower, I’d suggest you go with the carnation because it goes well for evening wear. If you want something smaller, go with the mini carnation. If you want something larger, go with a life-sized carnation, and the color is entirely up to you. A classic boutonniere is red or dark red, but I also like purple, pink, or yellow. Those three flowers are a great start in the world of boutonnieres. I’m sure once you have them and wear them, you want to come back for more.