Artificial flowers are naturally not the genuine article but can be made from a variety of materials including paper, plastic, porcelain, silk, clay, leather and soap. Artificial flowers are usually made to replicate specific flowers and sometimes look so real that you have to touch them to be sure. Sometimes they are custom-made, and here fantasy knows no bounds. Artificial flowers have a number of advantages: they make great gifts, last longer, are less expensive, need very little care, look like real flowers but have no effect on people with allergies and are just as colourful. The art of making artificial flowers is nothing new. The Romans made flowers from gold and silver, the Chinese often used rice paper. The Egyptians used stained horn and also linen, which they painted. In the late 18th century, the French gained world acclaim for their flower-making skills. Modern processes are highly specialized and the artificial flower industry has now spread across the globe.
You can of course make your own flowers and there are numerous Internet sites with instructions and advice on finding suitable materials.