Sola wood has been around for decades as a main resource in crafts for countries like India and Pakistan. It is one of the lightest woods on the market and that makes it perfect for artists to use it in various projects. Originally, the wood was used in making traditional sculptures of local deities and other decorative purposes. One of the most frequent use of the material was the making of traditional headdresses for the brides and grooms of West Bengal. But the thing that really captured people’s imaginations was the sola flowers.
The emergence of the craft
The story of sola wood powered arts and crafts starts in the marshy waterlogged areas of the Indian sub-continent. The wood is extracted from a certain species of plants, called Aeschynomene, and has a milky-white color and feels spongey to the touch. After it is extracted, the wood is dried and made into sheets and then into rolls. They it is ready to be shipped out to hobby supply stores all over the world.
The first people to start using the wood were called Malakar, which translates to garland makers. They started using the material in the making of religious objects like statues of gods and other things they could use to worship those gods. Their name derives from the fact that they used flowers made out of sola wood in order to decorate those statues and as decorations in the houses of the noble class.
Because the material is so easy to use and widespread many families in the poorer regions of the country have taken up making various objects out of it. The prices for handcrafted pieces vary, depending on the size and complexity of the object, and ultimately the time it takes the artisan to make it, from a few bucks to thousands of dollars. The very high-end pieces are made in more modern workshops and are exported and sold all around the world.
Kicking of a trend
The craft of modeling Indian cork, as the natives name it, was firstly popularized with the invention and widespread use of the sola helmet. This type of headgear was easy to make and very well designed, protecting the wearer from the sun and the heat of tropical and desert regions. They were so popular that the British colonial forces adopted the style and popularized it in regions such as Egypt and Bangladesh.
After the fall of the British colonial empire, the hat fell out of grace, being associated with colonial suppression. But in more recent years, due to its functionality and timeless design, this type of hat has made a comeback, being incorporated in uniforms of police and military forces around the world.
Making flowers forever
Although making flowers out of various materials isn’t news, making sola flowers has been a very big hit with hobby enthusiasts and decorators around the world. This is because the materials needed are cheap and very easy to use, and the end result is usually gorgeous. All it takes are some skills, patience and imagination.
Flowers made out of this wood have many things going for them. First thing one should know about them is that they are fully customizable. That means that one could paint them, arrange them and even make them smell whatever and however one wants. This is why they have been gaining so much popularity among future brides looking for that special wedding bouquet.
Another great thing about sola flowers is the fact that, being made out of a part of a plant and not plastic or other man-made material, they are 100% biodegradable and environmentally friendly. This means that even if some flowers don’t turn out the way the artists wanted them, they can simply throw them out without endangering the surrounding habitats like one could do with plastic or fiberglass, or any other artificially made material.
But who would want to throw out their wedding bouquet especially when one could keep it forever? This is maybe the biggest plus to these flowers. The brides that use bouquets made out of flowers like these can keep them right on the mantle, next to their favorite picture from that special day. The flowers never wilt and it will be a great reminder of that unique moment in your life. Not to mention a great conversation starter for when you have company over. Not affected by the passing of time, a bouquet out of these flowers will always bring joy and happy memories to the person that owns it.
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Abby Clare is a professional writer for luvsolaflowers.com. The website offers a beautiful selection of wood flowers for all budgets and preferences. Shopping with them is convenient and you have the possibility to place an order from the comfort of your home with just a few clicks of the mouse.