Artificial flowers are made in a variety of materials depending on the market the manufacturer is reaching. In mass production flowers, polyester is the fabric of choice by flower makers and buyers because of lower cost, ability of the fabric to accept dyes and glues, and durability. Plastic is the material used most often for the stems, berries, and other parts of flowers for the market including picks and bulk sales of longer stems of flowers that are also less expensive. Artificial flowers can be made of paper, cotton, parchment, latex, rubber, sateen (for large, bold-colored flowers and arrangements), and dried materials, including flowers and plant parts, berries, feathers and fruits.
Makers have been able to make very realistic looking flowers from polyblend fabrics and plastic stems. Leaves and Petal patterns are faded onto the fabric and the fabric is molded onto plastic stems.
There are some upscale silk flowers made of silk, rayon, and cotton are the fibers of choice. Wire in a wide range of gauges or diameters are used for firmness in creating the stems (and in stiffening some flower petals and parts). The wire is wrapped with specially dyed, tear-resistant, durable paper. No plastic is used. Other natural materials such as dried flowers, feathers, and berries are also significant in the upper end market.
To make artificial fruit and some berries, suppliers manufacture forms that are typically sized and shaped to look like the real fruit from mixtures of tapioca or flour base. The forms are sold to the flower manufacturer who dyes them and mounts them on paper-wrapped stems or stalks. All dyes and glues are also derived from natural materials.
Silk Flowers have become very realistic looking and are the preferred choice for many commercial settings.