What are Lapel/Enamel Pins?


A lapel pin is a small pin often worn on the lapel of a jacket. In case of football lapel pins/ badges the pin/badge can indicate the wearer’s affiliation with a favorite football team or country. Also football pins/badges are hot collectible items that offer an added advantage over other collections: they are small and do not take up much room. Pins are available in many motifs and themes.


In the die struck manufacturing process there are five basic types of pins: cloisonné, soft enamel, photo etched, screen printed and die-struck. In all processes, the outer shape of the pin is stamped out from a sheet of steel, aluminum, copper, brass or iron. In the case of cloisonne and soft enamel, the shape and the design are stamped out.



Cloisonné Lapel Pins, Hard Enamel Badges, Hard Enamel Lapel Pins


These classic lapel pins offer the highest quality and greatest durability. The die-struck (stamped) copper base is color filled with Cloisonne powder, fired at high temperatures, then sanded and polished to create a smooth, glass-like, fade-and scratch-resistant finish. Prices on these custom pins are higher, due to the complicated production process. Metal lines are needed to separate colors, and small details cannot be color filled.




Eploa Lapel Pins, also called Imitation Hard Enamel Lapel Pins


Eploa Lapel Pins, also called imitation hard enamel lapel pins, the colors are imitation hard enamel. The imitation hard enamel is filled in the recess parts after die struck, and then bake it to be dry. After that the enamel will be hard and durable. Before plating the surface is polished and the colors are cleaned away out the recess parts, so the imitation enamel lapel pins all have flat and polished smooth surface. This is different from the soft enamel lapel pins, the soft enamel lapel pins all are with recess color enamel, in the recess parts, you can feel the recess parts by your hand.



Soft enamel


This process is like epola and cloisonné in that strips of metal separate areas of color. Unlike cloisonné, the areas of color rest below the metal strip surface, which can be felt when you run your finger over the surface. Like the photo etched process, the top can be covered with protective epoxy so that the piece appears smooth.



Photo etched


In the photo etch process, only the shape of the piece is stamped out. The design on the face of the pin, is chemically etched into the base metal, then color-filled by hand and baked before being polished. In the final step, a thin coat of clear epoxy can be applied to the surface.



Silkscreen printed


There are no metal borders to separate different colors in screen printed lapel pins. Silkscreen printing provides a high level of detail in full color. With this method you may choose as many colors as you wish, but more colors means a higher printing setup fee for your lapel pins. Silkscreen printing is good when working with corporate standards that require your custom pins to follow exact specs. The screening process allows colors to “bleed” all the way to the edge of the lapel pin and registration and trademark symbols to be reproduced accurately.



Die Struck Lapel Pins/Stamped Lapel Pins


Stamped lapel pins without coloring are made with the same die-struck process as other stamped pins but without color fill. Instead, there are various options for finishes, as well as various background texture choices for these custom pins.




Backside of the Pin


The backside of a lapel pin can be just as important to as the front, not only because it holds the pin in place, but also because it may make the pin more unusual. Attachment pieces come in a variety of styles


Butterfly Clutch. One of the most popular modern methods of attaching pins is the butterfly clutch, sometimes called a military clutch. The back of the pin has a small prong attached and when the butterfly clutch is squeezed and pulled up from the prong the pin is released from the clutch. Butterfly clutches may be made out of metal, plastic, or rubber.



Jewelry clutch - The jewelry clutch, or tie tack, is a simple but elegant design. The clutch locks into place when it covers the prong.




Safety clasp - A safety clasp is similar to a safety pin in design. A long pin prong tucks under a small hook or clasp to hold the pin in place.




Magnetic clasp - Magnetic clasps are composed of a small disc magnet that is attracted to another magnet that is attached to the back of the pin. Although this method is generally less secure, it is designed to prevent hole punctures in garments.




Screw and nut - A screw and nut clasp is one of the most secure. The prong is threaded so that the nut screws into place to hold the pin firmly like bear hugging to a tree.





Stick pin - A stick pin has a thin needle with a collar that slides up and down the needle to secure or release the pin.






Step 1: Stamping Molding


Molds the metal surface to form the design.


Step 2: Outline Cutting


Cutting molds are made separately, then cut to the exact outline of the design.


Additional outline cutting molds may be required depending on the complexity of the design. * If a center hole or cut-out is required, an additional cut-through mold must be used.


Step 3: Attachment


Solder attachment onto the back of each piece.


Step 4: Plating


Plating now can be processed. The quality of plating varies with the length of time the metal is soaked in the plating liquid.


Step 5: Polishing


The metal surface is then polished until it is smooth and shiny. This applies to copper material only. Iron can be polished if required, but this will incur a surcharge.


Step 6: Coloring


Soft enamel is carefully inserted by hand, one color at a time, using different sized syringes. * Drying. * To prevent defects, a high degree of skill is required in order to keep each color and the correct amount of enamel in the proper area.


Step 7: Cleaning


Excess color and impurities are then wiped off the metal surfaces.


Step 8: Baking


The metal piece is baked at approximately 450F for12 to 15 minutes.


Step 9: Epoxy Coating


Clear epoxy is then applied to the surface to protect the enamel from color fading and cracking. (Epoxy coating is optional and provided according to customer’s requirements)


The standard colors are based on the Pantone Chart.


Bolder designs are recommended in order to prevent any unsatisfactory coloring caused by lines and figures that are too thin or too small.


General enamel coloring requires a surrounding metal space to ensure good quality painting results. Therefore it is usually necessary to allow for a blank metal rim (0.3mm minimum).


For budget considerations, iron material can be used instead of copper, but without polishing.

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