well for preserving foliage and some flowers. The main ingredient in
glycerol, (glycerin and methyl alcohol) but methyl alcohol is
an antifreeze called "LowTox" that's a mixture of glycerin and
isopropyl alcohol (propylene glycol) and works well on plant material. Use a mix of two parts water to one part
glycerin, making sure the water is warm for better mixing and faster
absorption. I've read all over the Internet why this is a bad idea.
However, this is a brief summary of what I learned from a
professional manual used by commercial producers of glycerin
preserved materials, tested both in laboratory and in practice.
Where leaves only are used, they should be
submerged completely in the glycerin-water solution. Where
leaves attached to stems are used, then only the stems are
immersed into the solution.
The time required for completing the
preservation process varies, but expect two to perhaps three
weeks before the glycerin solution reaches the leaf tips. In
most cases, you'll want to remove your plant material just
before the solution reaches the tips because the glycerin in the
stems continue being taken up.
If the samples appear to wilt after removal from the
solution, then hang them upside down so the
will migrate to leaf and branch tips.
To keep greenery from turning brown,
you must add
a floral absorption dye. Certain flowers
Solidago (goldenrod) do well with green, red or other colors
around with different concentrations of glycerin to alcohol, trying
to determine the least amount of glycerin needed to preserve the
plant material as the alcohol evaporates off. We know that a very
small amount of glycerin
is good for some pressed flowers. Since glycerin is in fabric
softener this is workable too.
treat certain materials before pressing, to put the watered
down glycerin solution in a
To lessen the
ratio of glycerin to alcohol, simply add
more alcohol or water. I recommend no more than a teaspoon of
glycerin to a pint of water/alcohol.
using anti-freeze it can be toxic so always
use care and make sure your spray bottles are clearly and permanantly marked.
information can be found by visiting the
Taxidermy Net Forums. Search the archives. Taxidermists use
preserved plant materials in some of their mountings, and they are
experts on preservation.
Hint: Use a bit
of eucalyptus essential oil in your mix to discourage insect type
critters from invading the dried flowers and foliages.
Do not use fragrance oil, only real essential oil will work.