|How It's Done|
Approximately five million poppies, 10,000 wreaths, thousands of wreath centre badges and other items are made here each year at Lady Haig's Poppy Factory. This is how.
Lapel & stick on poppies
The paper from which the poppy is made arrives into the factory as large rolls. These paper rolls are then passed through the cutting and pressing machine. The poppy petals are cut to size and the distinctive ribbing is added.
The shaped petals are then passed on to the team of poppy makers.
The green plastic stem is placed into a mounting holder and the shaped petal is placed onto the end of the stem. Lastly the black plastic centre is added to complete the poppy and to hold everything in place.
Stick on poppies follow a similar process, but an adhesive sticker is added to the back of the shaped petal, with a black sticker placed on the front to complete the look.
The above processes are repeated until all five million poppies have been made. Approximately one million stick on poppies and four million green stem poppies are produced each year.
Long stem poppies
As with the poppy paper, red silk arrives into the factory on large rolls. These rolls of silk fabric are passed through the cutting machine. The poppy petals are cut to size and the distinctive ribbing is added.
The completed silk poppies are then transferred to the Tin Room where the team attaches each poppy to a wire stem. The wire stem is then wrapped in green paper to complete the look.
Remembrance crosses are the only items which enter the factory pre-fabricated, but we must still attach poppies to each one. Paper poppies are passed to the Tin Room where the team attaches one to each cross, fixing it in place with a black plastic clip.
We make eight standard wreath shapes and can also custom make wreaths in a variety of shapes and sizes.
All wreaths begin life as long strips of metal, which require to be cut into shorter strips, bent into shape and welded together to form the basic shape of the wreath.
The wire frame is then covered in foam and wrapped in green plastic. The poppy petals are then arranged and attached to the frame.
The final stage of wreath production is attaching a badge to the centre if required.
The Tin Room
Although not made by the factory, the collecting tins still require maintenance.
Over 26,000 collecting tins are distributed around Remembrance time.
When collecting has been completed all of the tins are returned to the factory where they are cleaned, re-labelled and re-strung ready for distribution the following year.
This process can take around four months to complete.