Big Sky Freeze Dry Services

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Some Facts About Freeze Drying...

What is Freeze Drying?

Freeze Drying (Lyophilization) is accomplished by sublimation of ice in a vacuum. Sublimation refers to a solid (ice) changing directly to the vapor state (water vapor). The basic elements of this process have been known for nearly 100 years. However it was not until World War II that much emphasis was placed on the refinement of the process. During this time a lot of attention was given to the development of equipment and techniques for the purpose of supplying large quantities of dried blood plasma and penicillin to the armed forces. By the end of the war, freeze drying by a Lyophilizer had become known as a near perfect method of preservation. Today, freeze drying (Lyophilization) is used in many industries, such as, pharmaceutical manufacturers, camping/hiking food processors, museums, taxidermy, and the floral industry as well as within laboratories as a Laboratory Lyophilizer.

Is freeze drying the best method to preserve flowers?

  • Floral experts agree that freeze-drying is the best method of floral preservation. "Freeze-drying produces totally realistic dried flowers". HGTV, Goodhousekeeping and Dateline NBC researchers found the freeze-drying method of drying is the best flower preservation method available today.
  • You will be pleased to know that we use UV filtering glass as a standard in our framing.
  • You can select your shadowbox frame from many of our custom mouldings. We offer many framing options.
  • Quality training preserving flowers has perfected our drying quality so that you can expect very good to excellent results in our drying capability.

What is Floral Freeze Drying (Lyophilization)

The basic principle of floral freeze drying (Lyophilization)  is the removal of water from frozen botanicals as water vapor, and collection of this water vapor as ice in a condenser. With the botanicals solidly frozen during the process, and under a deep vacuum, shrinkage is eliminated or minimized, and near perfect preservation will result. The process requires the flowers to be frozen and then gradually the temperature is raised to stimulate sublimation (ice crystals changing directly to water vapor). Over a period of days all the water from the botanicals will sublimate and go into a condensation chamber. The water vapor turns back into ice in this very cold (-40° F or lower) condensation chamber. Defrosting the condensation chamber removes moisture from the freeze drying (Lyophilization) system. When ice quits forming in the condenser the load is dry. Often the only requirements for long term storage of freeze dried materials is the prevention of moisture re-entering the product.

When the Freeze Dried Flower Industry began in 1988, the flowers were fragile, shattered easily, and had a tendency to change color. These problems have all been addressed through chemistry. The pre- and post- treating chemicals used today meet the needs for color stabilization, durability, and longevity in freeze dried flowers.

Today, as the Freeze Dry Flower Industry continues to grow, many more people are enjoying totally realistic freeze dried flowers in their homes and offices.

Is a deposit required for floral preservation?

We ask for a deposit when you place your order. This deposit covers freeze-drying costs when we receive a bouquet. This deposit is non-refundable after your order is placed.

How long after the wedding or event do we have to get our flowers to you?

Rule of Thumb... The sooner we can get the flowers, the better they will turn out. As far as time, we have received flowers in fresh condition within a couple of days to more than a week of an event. If you are unable to drop off your flowers, contact us to arange pickup service. Big Sky Freeze Dry offers FREE pickup service within Flathead Valley. We also offer pickup service at a minimal charge within a 225 mile distance. Reservations MUST be made in advace for pickup service. 

How long before my wedding or event should I make my reservation?

To be sure that you will get into our busy wedding season (May 1-Oct. 31), we recommend that you reserve your preservation date with us as soon as possible. We prefer to have your reservation made within 2 weeks of the wedding or event. Last second decision, or wedding already over? Call us to check on the availability of space!