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There's a Real Live Flower Factory Right Here in NYC

As you may have figured out by now, I love an interesting experience. Anything out of the ordinary, I want to see it. So when I saw a post on the FIT- my alma mater- Linkedin board to take a tour of a real live flower factory right here in Manhattan, I could not resist the invitation.

M&S Schmalberg Flower Showroom  M&S Schmalberg Flower Showroom

M&S Schmalberg Flower Factory on 36th street in NYC's Garment District is small, but effective.  The door opens into the showroom, which is a girly girl's dream; flowers of every color, fabric, shape and size adorn the walls, tables and fixtures. The owner, Warren, was working with a designer when I arrived and some other custom tailors and milliners were waiting to look through the stock.

M&S Schmalberg Flower Showroom  M&S Schmalberg Flower Showroom

Since 1916, M&S Schmalberg, a 4th generation family-owned company, has been creating custom flowers in New York City. They still use the same techniques as when they opened, and some of their many molds are from the turn of the 20th century!

M&S Schmalberg Flower Showroom  M&S Schmalberg Flower Showroom

First, fabric is prepped, pressed and stiffened.

M&S Schmalberg Flower Showroom  Fabric Prepping

Once dry, a machine cuts the desired pattern. 

M&S Schmalberg Flower Showroom  M&S Schmalberg Flower Showroom

Once cut, a machine using heat and pressure molds the fabric to the desired print. Some fabrics are able to print several layers at a time, but thicker fabrics, like velvet, can only go through one at a time.

M&S Schmalberg Flower Showroom  M&S Schmalberg Flower Showroom

Once pressed, sewers work diligently putting the finishing touches on the flowers. All wires and embellishments are sewn manually.

M&S Schmalberg Flower Showroom  M&S Schmalberg Flower Showroom

In the factory, I felt like I was transported back in time; before all garment making was taken overseas. Real people- real New York people (!) were working in the back room. I am so happy to see companies like this still exist today. 

M&S Schmalberg (212) 244-2090 • 242 W 36th Street, 7th Floor • New York, NY 10018

Read 2348 times Last modified on Thursday, 12 February 2015 18:05
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