Sunwave Flower Press - Hints and Tips
Although I heartily endorse the concept of the Sunwave press from Nantic, I would like to mention a few hints that I feel greatly improve the results with the press. Although Nantic recommends placing the flowers directly onto the felt, I have found that following my tip with the cotton liners below gives even better results.
I use cotton sheeting – either new cotton from a fabric shop, or better still free “old” cotton sheets or pillow cases. I cut this to the same size as the pieces of felt – a total of 6 pieces for each press. I still use the felt provided, but slip the cotton piece between the felt as liners. Place a piece of cotton fabric on top of the felt – then lay the flowers on it – then cover with cotton before adding the felt and continuing as per the Nantic instructions. This ensures that the flowers are completely smooth and clear – whereas the felt, I feel, leaves a slight texture on the flowers. I also find the felt catches on some finished flowers and slows down the emptying process – if you use cotton, then by pulling gently on opposite corners of the square of fabric, you can loosen the finished flowers and they come away beautifully.
If old sheets or cotton is something you can’t readily lay your hands on, then a faster substitute is newspaper. Not sheets from a colour supplement but standard newspaper as it is more absorbent. Another possibility would be blotting paper or any plain absorbent paper. Avoid using kitchen towel as that too can leave texture marks on petals.
Lay the press in the hottest spot you can find, I know they have constant sunshine in many parts of the States where these presses come from – we have to try a little harder! The bonnet of my car has been a good spot (assuming you don’t park it in a public place!) Inside the car on the dashboard is even hotter …. A greenhouse, on a windowsill where the sun shines in all day, anywhere that you know gets as much heat as possible. In the winter I propped the presses on radiators, standing vertically so the hot air can rise up through the press.
Once the flowers inside are dry – usually between 1-4 days, 36 hours in strong strong sun – 4 days on a chilly winter’s day, unpack them so you can re-use the press and carefully place the finished flowers or leaves in a suitable packet. I use bags that are clear on the front and white paper at the back. Never store pressed flowers in plastic bags – they can get hot and sweaty and this will allow them to go mouldy. Keep the flowers flat and dry. I always use tweezers to handle the flowers, but that does take a little time to get the knack of using them.
If you have any queries or questions, I am always happy to help by email or phone, during business hours.