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Pressed Vs. Dried Flowers: Which is best?

A beautiful, bright pink daisy like flower that has been pressed, laying on an open note book.

Kate Blott |

Is It Better To Dry Or Press Flowers?

Using either of the two methods outlined above, the flowers dry out as they are pressed. It is down to personal preference, however, there are some sound reasons why ready-dried flowers can give a better result. You may have tried to dry your own flowers before and had poor results, with dull petals and brown stems. To retain the colour, and prevent unsightly browning, it is important to dry flowers quickly. It isn't always possible to do this, depending on the time of the year, or method used, so purchasing ready-dried flowers means this isn't a concern.

You may not wish to have super flat flowers for your project or artwork. When placing pressed flowers on a canvas or board, the finished result will be very flat. Using a dried bloom will allow for some depth and texture. A deep frame will protect the work from dirt and dampness, giving a beautiful display for decades to come. Think about what you're trying to achieve with your flowers and let that guide you as to which kind to choose, and what method to use.

A selection of pressed flowers on different kinds of paper.

Fresh Vs. Dried Flowers - Which Press Better

It's possible to use either fresh or dried flowers for pressing. The finished result will be slightly different, with a ready-dried flower retaining some of its contours and fresh flowers becoming much flatter. Fresh flowers flatten as their natural moisture is wicked away, but a dry flower has already set in its dried state, meaning a completely flattened result isn't achievable. You may wish to read about how flowers are dried to see the differences.

Three different kinds of crumpled, dried flowers on brown paper.

How Long Do Pressed Flowers Last

Pressed flowers can last a very long time. Unlike standard dried flowers that may be exposed to dirt, damp and harsh light, pressed flowers are often kept tucked away inside journals or behind glass. This will extend their lifespan. It's possible to purchase pressed flower artworks from the 19th Century that still look beautiful. As with all dried floral products, the level of care they are given will directly affect how long they last and look their best.

Top Care Tips:

  • Avoid direct sunlight and strong light which can bleach the flowers.
  • Protect your flowers from dampness and humidity, as the dry flowers will try and absorb the moisture, leading to mould growth and the deterioration of the overall structure of the petals, stems, and leaves.
  • For more general care tips, read our article on dried flower care.
A wooden frame surrounding a selection of dried flowers, with even more encircling its perimeter.
Experimenting with display options for pressed flowers can create unique artworks.

Benefits of Pressing Dried Flowers

Much of the work is done. The part of flower pressing that takes the longest is the physical pressing that in turn dries the flowers out to preserve them. By pressing an already dried flower, this part is shorter, although remember you will end up with a less flat result. As the florals are already 'set' in a dry form, they will be reluctant to squash completely, thus giving a slightly 3-D result, but it's possible to turn that to your advantage when crafting.

A dried flower can be pre-purchased, removing the need to dry the product yourself. Professionally dried flowers may have a better shape, form, and colour than home-dried florals, thus giving you a better quality result.

If you choose to buy dried flowers for your crafting, there is more likely to be a greater choice of flowers, offering you a greater range of colours and shapes for your art.

Why not take a look at our ranges of dried flowers and foliage to inspire you to create something amazing?

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