Freeze-Dry History and Process

Freeze-drying methods have been used for over 100 years for various technical purposes. During World War II, equipment and techniques were developed to supply blood plasma and penicillin to the armed forces. In the late 70's freeze-drying was commonly used for taxidermy, food preservation, museum conservation, and pharmaceutical production. It wasn't until the late 80's the freeze-drying industry discovered the allurment and longevity of freeze-dried flowers.

Virtis Freeze-Dry Machine The freeze-drying process used is very unique and is a near perfect method of preservation. The basic principal of freeze-drying is the removal of water from a fresh flower, fruit, or vegetable. The items are loaded into a freeze-dry machine when they are at their peak and flash frozen. A vacuum pulls the water from the flowers, changing it to water vapor that is collected as ice crystals in their ice bank.

The process takes about 10-12 days depending on the size of the load. Once the items are dry a light sealant is applied to increase durability and longevity. The process retains the original shape and color of the flower with shrinkage minimized or eliminated. Over time there is a natural senescence to all dried flowers and they will mellow a bit. The colors become beautifully subdeued, almost antique looking, like flowers from the past.

We purchased our machine in November of 1995 and it is the only one in the Thurston, Mason, Grays Harbor, Lewis County area.

We are able to process 2,500 to 3,000 flowers per load and run approximately 2 cycles per month. Along with preserving flowers for craft and design use, we also specialize in wedding bouquet preservation, keepsake arrangements and heirloom shadow boxes. We are able to preserve flowers from special occasions such as births, engagements, proms, funerals, birthdays, etc. Enabling you to enjoy your special flowers for years to come.

We are very excited in knowing that the beauty of freeze-dried flowers are now available in this area. We hope to provide many new and unique personalized products for their customers, that they will be able to enjoy for years.

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Created By Paul Gronka
Last Updated 7/6/1998