Shopping for a flocked Christmas tree can be confusing. One of the choices is whether or not to opt for flocking. If you were wondering about what it is and if it is for you, here’s some information.
What is Flocking?
The short answer is applying some substance to the limbs of a Christmas tree to simulate snow.
Today the basic recipe is fiber (like paper pulp or cotton) combined with corn starch to make it stick to the branches and added a fire retardant like boron. They are still available in lots of colors but white is by far the most popular.
If you choose to do it yourself, prepare for the mess by cordoning off an area with plastic sheets and get yourself at least a mask to avoid breathing in the fibers. You might want to consider those coveralls that look like hazmat suits. You only get one chance since re-wetting the flocking won’t work since it just will not dry a second time. Speaking of drying, you will need to be sure it is completely cured before moving it into your home. You can usually tell because the substance swells until it is fluffy and stays on the needles.
Of course, it is certainly much simpler to buy one pre-flocked.
If you have an artificial tree with flocking, you should know some tips about storage. While it may seem expedient to leave it fully decorated, it is suggested that you remove all ornaments and any strings of lights.
Decide where to put it. Select a spot that will not be affected by temperature fluctuations, drafts, or moisture. The coating can turn color or can actually mold. If placed vertically should be stored where it won’t fall, be accidentally tipped over, or have something fall onto it. It may be best to place it horizontally along a wall.
If you plan to replace it in the box, be sure to fold it carefully. It will take some time to be sure the branches don’t cluster together and, if it is a pre-lit tree, that the wires are not compromised or the branches get bent. Another choice would be to wrap the tree in a white cloth or a specially designed artificial tree cover.
For many, especially those who live in warmer climates, a flocked tree is a way to celebrate that white Christmas touted in songs and stories. With proper handling, your flocked artificial Christmas tree can last for several years.
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