Enamel pins have become a key figure in today's fashion industry. But, just what metals go into the enamel pin-making process, and what does the process look like?
Enamel pins, also sometimes referred to as lapels, are not a new fashion trend. On the contrary, lapels have been in the fashion industry for decades. They, however, had a selective niche from their conservative use. Ideally, you could only wear an enamel pin to a formal occasion, and even then, you had to adhere to a rather conservative set of rules.
Today, the situation is very much different. Lapels have long surpassed the formal use they were initially intended for. You can now wear an enamel pin to formal, social, and casual gatherings. You can also pair it with several fashion ideas and trends. Additionally, lapels have been used to display the causes a person stands for. This has further diversified its use.
But, have you ever thought of the process of lapel making? For instance, what metals are enamel pins made of, and just how complex is the manufacturing process?
Metals used in enamel pin making
While they may look simplistic, a lot of thought and meticulous execution goes into the enamel production process. For example, a variety of metals are used to achieve the perfect lapel. Some of the commonly used metals in the production process include;
- Iron - Iron is one of the commonly used enamel pins. It can be found in hard enamel pins, soft enamel pins, and no color pins.
- Zinc alloy - Also another commonly used element, you can find zinc alloys in enamel pins, badges, and coins.
- Aluminum and stainless steel - these two are majorly used for offset print pins
- Copper - While not a common element in the enamel pin production process, some manufacturers do include it at the client's request. This element is mostly used to challenge coins and enamel pins.
Generally, Zinc alloys and Iron are the most used metals in enamel pin-making. Aluminum and Stainless steel, on the other hand, are commonly used in making offset print pins. Brass and Copper are also used in manufacturing the enamel pins.
The distinction between when to use Zinc and when to use Iron lies in the enamel design. If you go for the classic 2D lapel, the metal used will likely be Iron. This is mainly for simplified designs. However, 2D enamel pins with complex designs and cutouts opt for Zinc alloy instead.
For 3D designs, the metal of choice is usually Zinc alloy. This is simply because the element is easy to shape from its softness and malleability.
Enamel pins making process
Most people have an idea or two they would like to make into a lapel. It could be anything from a personal project or a business venture. However, most stay away from trying as they assume it is a hard and tedious task.
This could not be any further from the truth. You can have any design and have your enamel pin within a couple of weeks. The process barely takes a month to complete, and you can get started now. Here's how;
Step 1: Preparing the artwork
When you're ready to get your enamel pins done, you'll just have to send your artwork to a professional enamel pin manufacturer, and you'll have the lapel with you shortly. However, to get started, you'll need to have ready artwork to provide the production firm with.
Usually, most enamel production companies request a PDF version of the artwork you'd like transmitted into an enamel pin. You can get the artwork by drawing the idea you have, scanning it, and saving it as a PDF. Alternatively, you can use design software to get the desired artwork. If you're
unfamiliar with the design software, you can consult a professional for assistance.
The artwork should be small and simple, about an inch or two. You should also use strong and bold colors for detail and avoid shading the design.
Step 2: Choosing the right material
As seen above, enamel pins are made from a number of materials. Form what is detailed above, you now need to make an informed decision on what
the material you would like the enamel to be made from.
First, you should decide whether it's a hard enamel pin or a soft enamel pin. Then, you also need to have an idea of the size you want the pin to be. The manufacturer can help you with the right enamel material and size.
Step 3: Close in on the number
Sometimes, you may just be looking to get a few enamel pieces for yourself. However, in most cases, people get enamel pins in batches. This is due to various reasons such as; you could be planning to resell, or they may be for your business or cause.
In whichever case, you need to have a rough idea of how many enamel pins you want to make. This will help in the overall planning process and the pricing as well. You can have a look at some of the most competitive enamel pins pricing options available today.
Step 4: Finding the right factory
Once you've done everything, the only remaining step is to find a place to have your enamel pin designs brought to reality. This means you have to find the best enamel production factory. Once you have narrowed in on a list of potential factories, ensure they provide quality work as there's a lot of detail that goes into lapel making. Then, send over your design and wait. In the agreed timeline, you'll get your enamel pins, and you can start distributing, selling, or just showcasing them.
That's all it takes to get from having an idea of what an enamel pin should be and then actualizing it. You don't need any special skills to make your lapel design as you can make anything you like. And, when you do, now you'll know what metal you should ask for and what other elements should be incorporated in the design. And all this can be done within a few weeks, so get started today.