A History of Flower Making & Charles Lubin Company
Silk flowers have been admired for centuries. The modern era flowers originated in France where they were carefully copied from nature for the great residences of the nobility. With the rise of the wealthy-merchant class in the late eighteenth and early ninetieth centuries, the demand for artificial flowers grew. About that time we find the making of artificial flowers spreading into Germany and Eastern Europe. It was not long before silk flowers found their way to America. In fact there were numerous artificial flower arrangements at George Washington’s inauguration with the flowers coming from France. To be sure, silk followers were soon made in the United States. They were carefully dyed with the petals chopped out by hand on a butcher’s chopping block, then hand shaded and decorated by hand with a brush, then constructed into a finished flower with the use of wire, tape and glue. The end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century saw a big expansion of the artificial flower industry with the advent of large, broad-brimmed women's hats. Almost every hat had numerous silk flowers on it. It was the millinery business that really expanded the manufacture of artificial flowers in the United States.
Rose Lubin, with the help of her husband Charles Lubin established the Charles Lubin flower manufacturing company in 1900. She had learned the art of making flowers as a young woman in Europe.
There was little changed in the artificial flower industry till the late 1970's when machinery was developed in the orient to eliminate the hand made process. Polyester, rather than silk, was used. The stems were extruded in plastic and the petals were stamped out in one piece by machine and then snapped onto the plastic stem by another piece of plastic. This produced an inexpensive flower; but nowhere near a quality one. It could not be shaped artistically into an arrangement. Nor did it have a realistic natural look.
Over the years the polyester flower improved by being "hand-wrapped" -- that is, the stem was wrapped with tape to resemble a hand made flower. Coloring of the polyester flower improved. But still the polyester flower can not compare to the hand made silk flower. When quality and realism is desired, only the carefully made silk flower will due. Then too, complex flowers are only produced by hand, in silk. Unfortunately a great many people in the industry refer to all
When Dorothy Lubin Bordin, the current president of Charles Lubin Company, Inc., speaks of Silk Flowers, she means real silk -- not polyester or rayon -- but real silk.
Since its establishment in 1900 by Mrs. Bordin's parents, Charles Lubin Company, Inc. has always been known for the finest in artificial flowers. Originally they manufactured all of their flowers but with the start of World war II they diverted into making chevrons for the army; then following the war, when labor costs in New York became so high, they switched to importing. Today, they import the finest, most realistic artificial flowers from every country in the world that manufactures flowers.
Perhaps what makes Charles Lubin Company, Inc. different from other artificial flower companies is that they do not just import foreign manufacture's lines; but utilize foreign factories to produce the flower items designed and color coordinated to the current trends by Charles Lubin Company, Inc.
One of the things that sets Charles Lubin Company, Inc. aside from the usual is the fact that they carry in stock a great diversity of different types of artificial flowers . . . from the tiny blossoms of Lily of the Valley or small Violets to large oh-so-natural-looking Sunflowers and Giant Lilies.
"How would you like to enter a country by walking over a railroad trestle on the open cross ties of the tracks looking down through them to a raging river sixty feet below", said Mrs. Bordin recently. "That's how my husband and I first entered China from Hong Kong; way back in 1971. That's before Richard Nixon first went to China."
Back then when China wanted to expand its small artificial flower factories into modern production methods it was Mrs. Bordin that the Chinese Government asked to tour the different Chinese factories to tell them how to produce fine silk flowers.
"You wouldn't believe what China was like then, forty five years ago, when I first evaluated their factories for them. People stared at us in the streets as they would look at animals in the zoo," commented Mrs. Bordin.
Today, China produces a lot of real silk flowers, but Charles Lubin Company, Inc. utilizes only a limited number of factories to produce their blossoms.
"We are very choosy when it comes to quality and not all factories are up to our standards," Mrs. Bordin notes. "Of course, I still believe that the finest artificial flowers come from Europe," she continued. "We still specialize in European production though we use factories in Thailand,
The beauty of Charles Lubin Company flowers are that they are realistic looking -- all hand dyed, hand shaded, hand decorated, and completely hand constructed. They are exclusive designs. All large petals are wired so that the flower arranger can shape them to his or her artistic touch. Most are "double petals" to hide the wire between layers of silk. Almost all our flowers are real silk. All leaves too are wired for artistic shaping.
"Colors are very important," states Mrs. Bordin. "We of course have blossoms made in their natural color; but we also made them in colors that might not be available in nature but are the current fashion trend. They look great and fit the current décor styling. We must always be months ahead of the color trend.”
While Lubin prints up various brochures from time to time, unfortunately they do not publish a full catalog. They have over five thousand different items in their selection with some in as many as 60 different colors. And they are constantly adding new items.
Lubin was situated in the heart of Manhattan (the center of New York), for a long time, but about twenty five years ago they moved to 145 Saw Mill River Road in Yonkers, New York – just over the New York City Line. They have a large showroom and everyone who comes for the first time is glad they did.
"A great deal of our business is done by the phone," said Mrs. Bordin. "People from all over the world call and discuss just what they need -- type of flower, colors, etc. They leave it to us to fill their needs and we very rarely make a mistake. Of course anything we ship that does not fit in can be returned for full credit less shipping. We pride ourselves," she continued, "on shipping almost all orders the same day we receive the order."
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Manufacturing wholesale silk flowers, artificial flowers, millinery supplies, hat trim, wedding flowers, floral supplies, display flowers, floral trim, fake flowers, for millinery and dress manufactures, hair accessories, floral and gift vendors, silk floral suppliers, interior design, home furnishing, home decor, gift industry. Shipping worldwide.