We’re all familiar with pressing flowers, and the way in which you can display dried flowers in glass frames. But one designer is using dried botanicals to decorate in an entirely different way. Olga Prinku has found a way to weave real plants and flowers into tulle and netting, creating striking botanical designs.
Olga only started embroidering with plants after taking time out from her career as a graphic designer to start and raise a family. Her hobby was a way of providing some extra income, as she started selling creations on Etsy.
But soon her botanical embroidery racked up 156,000 followers on Instagram, where she shares her floral creations, landing her collaborations with the likes of Anthropologie, Swarovski and Ruth Eaton London.
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She’s best known for her her striking floral letter art, where hundreds of dried plants and flowers are sewn into the shape of large capital letters. Each piece is rendered within large embroidery hoops. However, rather than stitching with yarn or thread, Prinku uses hundreds of real flowers, leaves, and seeds to form each letter shape.
Flower heads spring out of the tulle as if magically sprouting from the mesh.
From white daisies and pastel-pink poppies to red leaves and rust-coloured buds, Prinku’s colour palette is influenced by the seasons. Delicate botanicals are seen meticulously arranged in bright, colourful patterns, together creating pretty illustrations or blooming capital letters.
The concept of weaving flowers onto tulle came to Olga as a happy accident. She stumbled on the technique through sheer experimentation with floral crowns, wreaths, and generally playing with flower styling for her Instagram page.
She started experimenting with different bases for her floral creations, and one of them happened to be a garden sieve. Structurally, this is very much like the tulle fabric stretched across embroidery hoops that she uses now.
Olga noticed how she could position the flowers through the mesh of the sieve. Achieving something halfway between a wreath and the floral flat-lay that is so popular on Instagram.
Living in the countryside, she has a lush and lovely garden to forage in, as well as kind neighbours who are happy to let her have some of their blossom, too. She initially used fresh flowers for her works, but the natural objects began to shrink as they dried.
This left gaps in her designs, so now she uses dried flowers. She still picks them from her garden but then she dries them using silica gel.
Her creative floral wreaths have landed her several ultra-cool collaborations.
Anthropologie translated her floral designs onto tulle embroidery in a range of cushions.
Swarovski crystals are incorporated with flowers on tulle embroidery to create floral hoops for the Swarovski Professionals Fall/Winter 2019/2020 catalogue.
And her work is also translated onto fabrics for Ruth Eaton London.
Could this be the next phase of floral design?
Olga Prinku will be exhibiting at The Stitch Festival 2020 on 27th February.