15. Standardization of technology for dry flowers
15a) Identification of native plant species suitable for dry flower making
Identified 46 plant species which were found suitable for dry flower products making based on their qualities such as good texture, less brittleness, good shape retention, less change in colour intensity and low shatter index.
15b) Standardization of drying techniques for the identified native species
Standardized drying techniques for the newly identified plant species with glycerinization (full dip method @ 1:20) for leaves and silica gel + sand (1:1) embedding followed by microwave drying for flowers.
15c) Standardization of bleaching techniques for the identified native species
Bleaching techniques were standardized for the identified native plant species by soaking pods in sodium hydroxide 10% (overnight) and then treating with 2% sodium hydroxide + 2.5% sodium silicate + 35% hydrogen peroxide for 18 hours and 12 hoursrespectively.
15d) Standardization of dyeing techniques for the identified native species
Standardized dyeing techniques for identified native plant species with acrylic dyes (red) 0.1% and the time taken for dye uptake was 1.4 minutes.
15e) Standardization of drying techniques for fillers
Standardized drying techniques for the fillers with glycerine at 50% (full dip) retained shape, texture, colour, brightness, brittleness and overall acceptance for podocarpus leaves. For leather fern, baby eucalyptusand silver dollar leaves, glycerine at 10% (up take method) wasstandardized.
15f) Development of new dry flower products for export market
74 products were developed from identified native plant species. Some important products are potpourri, garland, wreath, fairy pine cone angel, Christmas snow man; gift decoration, Christmas candle and swag for export. For domestic market, products such as, wall hangings, photo frames, hat arrangements, pen stands, key chains and ear rings etc. were developed.
15g) Standardization of export packaging technology for dry flower products
Export packaging technology was standardized for dry flower products. The safe packaging material for the transport of scented pine cones were 5ply 180 gsm Full Telescopic Half Slotted Container (FTHS) and 5ply 180 gsm Regular Slotted Container (RSC) which had moderate damage (3.22 and 3.80) in the drop test and trace amount of damage (1.48 and 1.78) in the vibration test respectively.