Professional florists select their tools from a wide assortment of products available. Following are the major types of tools needed for professional floristry (Figures 7-1 to 7-4).
1. Knife: Select a short blade made of quality steel that will hold an edge. The short blade will help prevent cut fingers.
2. Florist shears: They have short blades with serrated edges, and are used for cutting both herbaceous and woody plant material.
3. Pruning shears: The best ones have two cutting blades of quality steel. They are used for cutting woody materials.
4. Ribbon shears: These are similar to ordinary scissors in appearance.
5. Styrofoam cutter: A widely serrated cutting edge makes it suitable for cutting and shaping blocks of styrofoam.
1. Florist wire: Wire is used to support weak flower stems and to hold curved lines in arrangements. It varies according to length and thickness (gauge). The heaviest gauge is number 18 and the finest, number 32. As the weight of flowers or foliage increases, the weight of the wire needed to support them also increases.
Chenille stems: Chenille stems are like pipe cleaners with extra flocking. They are used for decorative purposes and to provide water to corsage flowers.
figure 7-3. Floral adhesives: (front) waterproof tape and florist clay; (rear) floral tape, styrofoam glue, and a hot glue gun (Delmar/Cengage Learning. Photo by Jack Ingels.)
FIGURE 7-4. Assorted stem support materials: (left) waterholding foams; (center) shredded styrofoam and pinpoint holders; (right) chicken wire and block styrofoam (Delmar/Cengage Learning. Photo by Jack Ingels.)
3. Spool wire: A heavy gauge wire is needed to wire arrangements such as wreaths and door swags.
4. Twistems: These are short pieces of wire enclosed in paper. They fill a number of roles in which support or repair is needed.
5. Wooden picks: Green wood picks with a length of thin wire attached can be fastened to stems or other materials and inserted into a holding substance. They are widely used with nonliving arrangements.
6. Metal picks: These are similar in use to wooden picks and are dispensed from a machine.