Commercial Silk Int'l

How to Unbox and Shape a Silk Plant

When you buy silk plants from Commercial Silk Int'l, they will often arrive in a cardboard box. To unbox your silk plant you'll need a simple set of tools, and to properly shape it you'll just need your set of hands and a delicate touch.

[more]Products Used

Materials Needed

  • Pliers
  • Flathead Screwdriver


  • First, use a screwdriver and pliers to remove the staples from the bottom of the box.
  • Lift the box cover off.
  • Using your screwdriver and pliers, remove all staples from the base of the box.
  • Beginning with the foliage leaves on the bottom of the silk plant, shape the leaves by bending them down and out.
  • Working upwards to the top of the floor plant, continue to gently shape the silk foliage using both hands.
  • Continue shaping the plant until all leaves are gracefully reaching towards the light, just like a healthy living plant.
  • Well shaped plants will only need a light annual silk plant cleaning. They appear healthy without the ongoing maintenance that indoor tropical plants require.

iPad Plants vs. Zombies

plants vs. zombies app You can decide for yourself whether the iPad is truly a revolutionary device or just a passing fad. We were excited to learn, regardless, that there is a new app game for the iPad called Plants vs. Zombies. In this tower defense game, your job is to plant a variety of foliage that shoot thorns and other plant-style armaments to stop zombies from entering your house.

[more]On a more sober note, we were reminded of the real life dangers that artificial plants and trees can pose when they are not manufactured with fire retardant foliage. A Marion, OH woman was startled to find that a fire had broken out in her home after coming back from gathering wood outside. The fire started from an incense candle that ignited an artificial plant nearby. As our own fire retardant plant tests (video) have shown, artificial plants that are not properly protected can be very dangerous for hotels, offices, restaurants, and other commercial properties. The woman was unharmed and thankful she returned when she did, as her house was not entirely destroyed.

Tallest Palm Tree Record Tallest Palm Tree Measurement Last but not least, an artificial palm tree competition was recently held in a Poland village to celebrate Palm Sunday. The annual event saw a new height record, with the winner reaching 35.1 yards tall. To the participants, the palm trees symbolize both sacrifice and rebirth.

Cleaning Silk Plants

Cleaning silk plants will keep them looking fresh and realistic. Twice a year will do, however once every three months is recommended to reduce time and effort during each silk plant cleaning.

[more]Products Used

Materials Needed

  • Spray Bottle
  • Hot Water and Dishwasher Soap
  • Silk Plant Cleaner
  • Paper Towel


  • Fill your spray bottle with hot water and dishwasher soap.
  • Spray your silk plant with the soap mixture, applying a thorough coat.
  • While still wet, spray on the silk plant cleaner.
  • Using a paper towel, wipe the silk plant clean.

Trade Show Booth Designers Turning to Artificial Plants and Trees

Artificial Plants in Tradeshow Booth Designs

Trade show designers and exhibitors have turned to artificial plants and trees recently, sprucing up (no pun intended) their booths while streamlining logistics. It makes sense: you put countless hours into the design, ship it out, set it up, wear out your shoes and jaw standing and talking for three days, pack it up, and send it off to the next one. You better be efficient, and you better have a design that stands out from your competitors next door. Silk Tree Booth Design

A few benefits of going silk:

- Staying fresh. For booths that move from show to show, live plants are not cost-effective. Silk plants don't wilt or lose their leaves in shipping and only need a little touch up to look good as new.

- Creating themes. Booth designers have used Commercial Silk Int'l silk plants and trees to convey forest themes, such as this Aspen Rocky Mountain booth for guitar company Two Old Hippies, and this Central Park booth for The Ladders.

[more] - Providing scale. Trade show ceilings are too high and it's difficult to properly define and scale an exhibition. Artificial trees create smaller, intimate settings while providing a visceral design impact. Silk Mountain Tree Trade Show Booth Theme

- Packing and shipping. Artificial trees can be easily disassembled, packed, reassembled, and shipped in crates.

- Fire proofing. Because trade shows are held in what is considered assembly occupancies (places where 50 or more people gather), they are required to use fire retardant materials that pass the state fire codes, specificially the NFPA 701 test. All Commercial Silk Int'l foliages pass this test.

Any company with a trade show regiment knows how expensive it can be, from carpet and electricity to hotel rooms and rental cars. Next time you pick up that order form for plants, remember that you can create memorable booth themes and save time and money with the artificial variety.

The Art of Creating Artificial Trees

Creating artificial trees is an art, as shown in this time elapsed video of a Commercial Silk manufacturer creating an artificial Ficus tree. Our team of craftsmen are masters in their field and strive to create the most authentic and realistic silk trees in the industry. Fortunately, our craftsmen have over 40,000 square feet of studio-like warehouse space to perfect their art.

At the base of the tree, trunks and PVC collars are embedded into a reinforced container. For permanent installations, steel plates would be utilized.

[more]Branches are joined to the main trunk using doweled ends. Steel reinforcements allow our craftsmen to manipulate tree density and form specific shapes typical to the various trees we manufacture. Cables are then used to preserve the shape.

Branch and trunk imperfections are hand painted to blend with the stem coloration, further heightening the authenticity, and tapered branch tips provide a smooth transition from branch to foliage.

Last and certainly not least, our Inherantly Fire Retardant (IFR&trade) foliage provides permanent fire protection to meet state fire code requirements (NFPA 70, Class A per ASTM E84, California title 19, US BOv SIN 4722-06 Flammabilty Code, NFPA 705), allowing our silk trees to be implemented in commercial projects, such as a rooftop bar Ficus tree installation.

Considerations When Buying Artificial Fake Trees

Fake Trees in Design When fabricating an artificial tree, whether the tree be completely fabricated, assembled from pre-fabricated tree bark sheets or whatever method being used, an important factor to take into consideration from an artistic standpoint, is just how realistic or stylized the tree in question should be.

Depending, of course, upon the needs and wishes of the client, or the requirements of whatever given project for which it's being fabricated, will the tree be created as an extremely authentic (museum quality) recreation of nature, a less detailed yet still more or less accurate representation of a real tree or a completely artistic interpretation? And even within this last category, there are many ways in which a fabrication artist can go, taking the design and fabrication of the tree in directions as diverse as a cute, cartoonish and "kid friendly" or even anthropomorphized tree to an almost "fine art" sculptural interpretation.

[more] Most of these choices ban be predicated upon where the tree is going to finally be utilized once fabricated. Clearly, a tree being built for a museum exhibit will need to be rendered in fine, ultra-realistic detail, though obviously a children's museum display may be better served by a more cartoon-like tree. Is the fabricated tree being blended into a very realistic environment? Will it be standing alone, perhaps the tree is utilized as a branded symbol in a healthcare setting, or possible in a restaurant or retail space? Will the public be coming into close contact with the tree, and will they be able, even, to climb upon it? What is the purpose of the sculpted tree? It may be used to frame views, define scale, or enhance office productivity. All these factors contribute not only to how a fabrication artist approaches the final appearance of the tree, but also in many ways in what way the tree is built and with what materials, as well.

Sculpted Tree Trunk Detail Budget, too, plays a huge part in determining the level of detail and/or stylization incorporated into the production of an artificial tree. Obviously, working on a limited budget impacts how much time and attention to detail can be lavished on a particular project, as well as the materials involved. Thus, the more detailed and realistic a fabricated tree is to be, the higher the budget required to create a satisfactory end product. Certain shortcuts and compromises can be agreed upon, surely (lessening, say, the number of branches, or the amount of foliage to be used), but there really is no way around the fact that a very high-quality, highly-detailed museum quality fabricated tree is going to also be an expensive one.

This doesn't necessarily mean that a more stylized, less "realistic" and less detailed tree will by default be cheap. Much depends, naturally, on the level of stylization, and an abstract, artistically interpreted and sculptural tree could very easily end up being as costly if not more so than a realistic one, as the level of complexity involved in the build, and the amount of artistic interpretation involved, could be as time consuming as slavishly replicating the look of a genuine tree, if not more.

Fake Trees in Hotel Lobby In the end, of course, it all boils down to what the client wants or feels is appropriate for the project in question, and, taking into account their budget, the environment in which it is to be displayed and its ultimate end-use, the style of fabricated tree, its method of construction and level of detail can then be backed into. It's not always an easy or pain-free process, however it is a good yardstick to use in determining just how to create the best fabricated tree possible that will satisfy the client's needs and make them as happy with their purchase as possible.

Silk Banana Trees Are Popular Indoor Plants

Popular Tropical Banana Foliage

Silk Banana trees compliment a tropical theme artificial landscape. The silk Banana tree manufactured by Commercial Silk Int'l has an authentic natural wood stem and broad, exotic silk Banana leaves. Our artificial Banana tree has clusters of artificial Banana fruit. Use a silk banana tree in faux landscapes for hotels, hospitals, malls, and casinos or for a theme venue with a tropical ambiance. Artificial Banana trees can be crafted in any size ranging from 4' to 24' for your project's specifications.

[more] Silk Banana Tree In addition to tree size and Banana leaf variety, it is important to consider fire retardant foliage for faux landscapes. Understanding the fire code requirements for an artificial Banana tree can often be challenging and confusing. Every State adopts their own fire code and in fact so to does every municipality. In an effort to help our clients answer the question of whether or not a particular State will require them to use fire retardant foliage, we asked the following question of the Office of State Fire Marshall for each State. Visit our web site for complete details on our fire retardant regulations, including silk Banana foliage.

Fire Retardant Regulations and Artificial Silk Plants

Fire Retardant Foliage

Our clients are constantly wondering whether or not they are required to use fire retardant plants for their projects. In an effort to help our clients determine whether or not their project requires the use of flame retardant foliages, we have done some preliminary research. We began by researching the requirements of flame retardant fabrics according to the Office of the State Fire Marshall in California. As you can see, the SFM has the authority in drinking and dining establishments, places of public assembly and schools, to require decorative materials and fabrics (curtains, drapes, drops, hangings and tents, awnings or other fabric enclosures) be made from a nonflammable material, or treated with approved flame retardant chemicals. That authority has expanded over the years to include other decorative materials such as artificial plants, Christmas trees, and trade show display equipment. Places of public assembly is defined as anyplace the public assembles including Hotels, Malls, Hospitals, Senior Living, Office Buildings, Retail Establishments, Airports, Government Buildings.

[more]Silk trees and plants by Commercial Silk Int'l are built using flame retardant foliage that have a Class A rating according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). We are the industry's largest importer of proprietary designed fire retardant artificial foliages. We are a registered and approved supplier of both flame retardant chemical and flame retardant fabrics by the State of California. In addition, our fire resistant foliages pass the NFPA 701 and NFPA 705 tests which are the Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films. In addition our inherently fire retardant foliages are tested according to ASTM E84 and have a Class A rating.

To learn more about flame resistant silk foliages as well as review landscape projects using fire retardant plants, we invite you to read about the many beneficial reasons to using silk plants and trees.

Flame Retardant Foliage for a Themed Landscape

Jungle Theme

What is Themed Foliage?
Themed foliage is the process by which a designer selects a pallet of artificial foliage from hundreds of foliage varieties in order to be used in combination together to create a desired theme.

[more] Wilderness Theme What types of themes can be created with foliage?
The most typical theme is a tropical theme and is mostly seen at themed restaurants and entertainment venues. Additional themes include; north woods, wilderness, southwest, asian and more. For commercial settings and themes, a flame resistant foliage is usually a regulation. Our imported flame retardant artificial foliages are available in many varieties for all of your landscape design needs.

How are the foliages used to create the theme?
The artificial landscape designer will be experienced in the art of both design and manufacturing in order to create the desired theme. The designer must know both how a single fire retardant foliage branch can be used individually in the display as well as how the foliage branch can be used in the crafting of a larger themed custom tree or plant. Often times the designer will need to know how to use a multitude of different materials including epoxies, urethanes, foam and paint to manufacture the finished artificial plant on-site. In addition, the designer will need to be aware of the many crossover applications of trees, plants and foliages. Tropical Theme A Maple tree for example, depending upon its color, shape, and density, can be used in a residential boulevard setting, a forest diorama, a winter scene or a graveyard. Boxwood has been applied as ceiling and wall applications in this whimsical underground lounge as well as formed into topiary shapes that sculpt an English Garden. Customization of products, either by the manufacturer or on site is critical in achieving the desired effect. Commercial Silk's landscape design team has worked with architects as well as scenic fabricators to developer some of the most pronounced flame resistant wildlife themes to lush tropical themes with our fire retardant foliage varieties.

When To Use Silk Plants And Artificial Trees

Live plants are often the first choice for corporate or business office settings. In many cases, though, silk plants and trees are a more appropriate option. The following is a run-down of environmental, maintenance, cost, and other factors to take into consideration while planning your next commercial interior landscaping project.

Tropical Plant Maintenance Draft
Installing silk trees in a lobby area is an effective way to make a good first impression on visitors. At the same time, these areas are often drafty and subject to temperature swings, making for poor conditions for indoor tropical plants. Silk plants, meanwhile, are durable, weatherproof alternatives for casinos and other commercial projects.

Live plants require proper lighting conditions. Silk plant products, in contrast, are a viable choice for darker conference rooms, offices, or other indoor office settings with little available natural light.

[more] Safety
Hard-to-reach areas and areas with electrical equipment can be precarious for maintaining live green plants. Silk plants and trees don't require watering and other routine maintenance that could put your staff in potentially dangerous situations, making them a safer alternative.
Heavy Tropical Plants

Load Bearing
Live tropical plants can be very heavy due to the weight of the soil and water they require. When the load bearing capacity of an area is a concern, silk trees are a much lighter alternative. As an added benefit, they can also bolt securely to the floor.

Secure Areas
Maintenance is an important part of the health of green plants. In private offices, and secure areas, this can pose regularly scheduled maintenance challenges. Here, low maintenance silk plants are a smart choice.

Creating an attractive theme requires authenticity. Sourcing indoor tropical plants for jungle or rainforest themes, though, often requires placing palm trees and other tropical species in an unnatural setting, leading to high maintenance costs and continual upkeep. In contrast, silk versions are a low maintenance and truly authentic looking when constructed by a reputable manufacturer; in addition plants can be used to define spaces and provide scale.

Last, live plants require watering, cleaning, fertilizing, pruning, and disease and insect control treatments. Silk plants only require light dusting from time to time. Although installation costs for Replica plants are typically a bit higher, their lower maintenance costs make them less expensive over the long haul and worth considering for your next commercial project.

Commercial Silk Int'l
Commercial Silk Int'l