The History of Floral Preservation in Journals

The History of Floral Preservation in Journals

The History of Floral Preservation in Journals

Flowers have been a source of inspiration for artists, poets, and writers throughout history. They have been used to express love, convey messages, and decorate spaces. The beauty and ephemeral nature of flowers have made them a popular subject for artists to capture and preserve. Over time, various methods of preserving flowers have emerged, and one of the most well known ways is by preserving them in journals. At Pressed Floral we also found inspiration from this unique craft and put our spin on special blooms. 

The practice of preserving flowers in journals dates back to the 16th century. During this time, botanists and naturalists were exploring the world and discovering new plant species. These explorers collected plant specimens from all over the world and pressed them in books, creating what we now call herbaria. These collections were used for scientific research and study, and they provided a valuable resource for botanists and naturalists.

However, not all plant specimens were collected for scientific purposes. Some were collected for their beauty and ornamental value. These specimens were often pressed in books and used as a form of decoration. The practice of collecting and preserving flowers in journals became popular among wealthy European women in the 18th and 19th centuries. These women would collect flowers and other natural specimens, such as leaves and feathers, and press them in books to create what were known as “nature albums” or “flower albums.”

These albums were highly personal and often included notes, drawings, and poems alongside the pressed florals. They were often used as a way of documenting the flora and fauna of a particular region or as a way of commemorating a special event or occasion, such as a wedding or a birth. The albums were highly prized possessions, and they were often passed down through generations as family heirlooms.

In the early 19th century, a new technique for preserving flowers in journals emerged. This technique involved dipping the flowers in wax and then pressing them in books. This method was first introduced by Madame Charlotte de la Tour in 1804, and it quickly became popular among European women. Wax flowers had several advantages over pressed flowers. They were more durable, and they retained their color and shape better than pressed flowers. They were also more three-dimensional, giving them a more lifelike appearance.

The popularity of wax flowers grew throughout the 19th century, and many women began to specialize in the art of wax flower making. They would create elaborate bouquets and arrangements using wax flowers, often incorporating them into larger decorative pieces, such as wreaths and centerpieces. Wax flower making became a highly skilled art form, and it was often passed down from mother to daughter.

In addition to wax flowers, other techniques for preserving flowers in journals also emerged in the 19th century. One such technique was the use of chromolithography, a printing process that allowed for the reproduction of highly detailed, full-color images. Botanical prints became highly popular during this time, and many women began to collect and preserve them in books.

Another technique that emerged in the 19th century was the use of watercolors to paint and preserve flowers in journals. Watercolors were highly versatile and allowed for the creation of highly detailed and lifelike images. Many women began to use watercolors to create their own botanical illustrations, often incorporating them into their nature albums.

The practice of preserving flowers in journals continued into the 20th century, but it began to decline in popularity as photography and other forms of mass media became more widespread. However, the art of preserving flowers in journals has experienced a resurgence in recent years, thanks in part to the popularity of scrapbooking and other forms of crafting.

Today, there are many different techniques and materials available for preserving flowers. Some people still use the traditional method of pressing flowers in books, while others use more modern methods, such as using resin or silica gel to preserve flowers. At Pressed Floral we preserve our blooms by naturally pressing them. No matter the technique used, the beauty and artistry of preserving flowers in continues to captivate and inspire people around the world.

The history of preserving flowers is a fascinating one that spans centuries and continents. From the scientific study of plant specimens to the personal expression of creativity and beauty, preserving flowers has been a beloved practice for generations. While the techniques and materials may have changed over time, the sentiment behind the practice remains the same - to capture and preserve the outstanding beauty of nature for generations to come. Here at Pressed Floral, we are dedicated to ensuring that your most sentimental moments are made to last forever.