Floss Flowers Instructions
||While visiting friends near Salzburg, Austria, I discovered an
unusual art form known as Klosterarbeit. I later found similar work done
in Malta, known as Ganutell. I prefer using a more generic term,
Wire and Floss
Flowers. These durable creations can be used in miniature
arrangements or as jewelry.
The art form of Wire and Floss Flowers consists of two different techniques.
One uses a fine wire (28 to 32 gauge) twisted with one or more strands
of shiny floss (rayon) wrapped around a center vein. [See picture
on left] The other uses coiled wire petal edges wrapped with
floss. [See picture on right]
Wire: #30 gauge for twisting and #26 gauge for the petal
veins - stiff #22 gauge green wire for stems
Floss: A rayon floss, either the DMC stranded, or EdMar
Brazilian floss in fine weights work well. Metallic floss can also
Beads: For flower centers, metallic and pearl beads in
2-4mm sizes, and also seed beads and others
Floral tape for finishing the stems
|The flowers look best with colored wire that matches the floss, but since wire colors are limited, this is not always possible.
#30 gauge wire is best for twisting with floss, but anything from #28 to
#32 gauge can be used. Combine a yard or meter length of wire with
1-2 strands of rayon floss the same length. Tie together with an
overhand knot at each end. Using a hand drill or cord twister tool
with a cup hook in the drill bit, tie one end of the wire/floss to
the hook. Have a friend hold the other end, or secure with a
clamp. Twist the wire and floss together until it forms a tight
twist (about 10-12 twists to the inch).
||Cut a 4" piece of #26 gauge wire to match your
floss/wire cord. This will be known as the "core wire". Take the strand
of cord and hold the knot near the left end of the core wire. Wrap over
the wire 3 times.
||Rotate it clockwise
||Bring floss/wire cord to the other end of the wraps and
wrap once over tail between wraps and knot.
||Rotate clockwise again. Wrap once. This
completes one round or row. Clip excess wire and knot beyond the
wrap. Make 5 to 7 rounds.
||Next, wrap the core wire 3 times. Apply a dab of
glue over the final wraps and down the cord a bit. When dry, cut
close to the final wraps with wire cutters. At the tip end, clip
core wire ¼" beyond the wraps, bend down against the back side.
You will find instructions in the book, Wire and Floss Flowers to
make many variations of the basic petal to create flowers with different
||To make a flower, make 5-6 petals as shown above.
Take a 6" piece of #30 gauge wire and string a single large bead in
the middle. Run one end of the wire back through the bead a second
time. Pull up snug so the bead is in the center of the wire.
If you want a stiff stem, cut a 6" piece of stem wire and form a small
hook at one end. Secure the bead stamen to the stem wire. If
no stiff stem in needed, go on to the next step.
||Take a 6-8" piece of #30 wire. Wrap it once around
the stem or stamen wire just under the bead. Arrange the first 3
petals around the stamen bead and wrap in place with the wire. Add
the remaining petals and wrap again with wire.
Finish by wrapping the stem with floral tape. Add some green
leaf petals along the way if desired.
Beads may be used along the core wire instead of wraps as seen in the
leaves of the sample.
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