What is a flocked Christmas tree?

Of the many interesting holiday traditions, One of the weirdest is spraying a mixture of glue and cellulose fibers onto a small tree to satisfy the longing for White Christmas. ..

This happens when you decorate a tree with artificial snow. Flock . Yet, when decorated and lit up, the beautifully decorated Christmas tree feels nostalgic and nostalgic. 

History of flocking

We have been trying to make Christmas trees look snow-covered for longer than we imagined, dating back to the 1800s, using substances such as flour and cotton. 1929  issue Popular Mechanics Varnish, cornstarch, silicate mineral mica flakes are recommended.

But as we know, from the late 1950s to the 1960s, herds of trees really became popular, along with the post-war boom of aluminum trees and other flashy (not-natural-looking) decorations. rice field. General Mills has sold a Sno-Flok home kit that is applied using a vacuum cleaner-mounted gun.

Such home kits haven’t become very popular these days, says Tom Leonard, owner of Peak Seasons, one of the country’s largest manufacturers of Christmas tree supplies and herds of trees. However, the herd itself remains at an attractive level. “I use it a lot because there is no snow in the Sunbelt,” Leonard told Trini Radio. “It’s hugely popular. On the west coast, the south, and the southeast, most of it is sold in these zones.”

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Herd science

So what exactly is a flock? At its core, swarming means creating textures with small fibers on the surface (this process is also used in fashion, home decor, and crafts). The Peak Seasons recipe includes pulp and paper as fiber, cornstarch as an adhesive, and boron as a flame retardant.

And the company makes a lot of it. According to Leonard, they are the largest flock manufacturers in the United States and Europe. “[How much] I don’t want to share, but I sell a lot of herds. I mean one truck and one truck.”

Based in the sunny Riverside, California, Peak Seasons begins with paper and grinders. “It’s like a big roll of toilet paper, weighs a ton. When you put it in a machine, it comes out with powder,” says Leonard. The exceptions are bright colors such as white, black, pink, ice blue, royal blue, red, green, gold and purple, which require cotton fibers instead of paper to retain the dye. The final product is like baby powder and is shipped nationwide in a large cement bag.

From there, it’s where flock machines like the Mighty Sno-Blower come into play. These are basically large tanks that hold different amounts of flock depending on the model. Make the powder fluffy. The machine then pumps the powder through a hose, and the gun at the end mixes it with a mist of water.

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Herd art

You can either use a professional flocky you don’t have or use a manufactured flock. There are all kinds of DIY recipes, including soap flakes and dried coconut flakes. But if you’re a professional, you’ll want to be in the hands of someone like Paul Iantosca, who has grown trees in the Boston area for 20 years.

Iantosca flock to a single bright purple tree (white is still the most popular) and spray water first. Then, in an area closed with a plastic sheet, activate the blower to evenly blow the wood with what looks like a purple mist. Things are everywhere. He wears a mask to keep it out of his nose, but a large number of flockies wear fully protective coveralls.

The difficulty with flocking is that you don’t know if you’ve done well until it dries. If it continues, it’s cold and moist like a paste. However, when it dries, Christmas magic begins, bulging, and turning into fluffy white (or purple in this case) fluff that is firmly attached to the needle.

Of course, there are pitfalls. If you don’t have enough water, the flock will fall and you will be in trouble. The flocked Christmas tree will never get wet again. “It doesn’t dry anymore. I really hate it,” says Iantosca. Also, when swarming on a tree, the color accentuates its imperfections. Awkward trees turn into strange, uneven shrubs.

But if you understand it correctly and install the lights, you can get something amazing. Iantosca has grown trees for his home for the past decade, but his children won’t let him go home.

“When you plug it in, the inside glows completely,” he says. ‘can not believe it. ‘

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