Lapel pins have come a long way from being just an accessory to a fast-trending fashion item. These pins nowadays are used everywhere, from clothing to bags and other apparel. They are also suited to be worn on different occasions and events. 

However, not everyone is aware of the ins and outs of lapel pin making. Keeping that in mind we have come up with some interesting things about lapel pins that you should know before ordering or purchasing one. 

If you are looking for custom cloisonné pins, you can always connect with us. We are a reliable pin manufacturer and can help you design and create excellent lapel pins to suit your occasion. 

Hard Enamel vs. Soft Enamel

Hard enamel pins, sometimes referred to as semi-cloisonné or imitation cloisonné, are the most durable among the pin styles. The colors are bright and the enamel is at the same level as the metal separations between the colors. 

Soft enamel pins, on the other hand, have raised metal borders and recessed enamel paint fills. It has a more painted look and often a clear epoxy layer is added over the enamel colors to make the surface of the pin smooth.


Epoxy is a resin in the class of a thermoset polymer and is often added as a coat over soft enamel pins. It protects the enamel from elements and gives the pins a bright, smooth look. However, this epoxy coating can turn yellow over time and with exposure to sunlight.

Struck Pins and Cast Pins

Struck pins and cast pins differ in the way they are fabricated. Struck pins use a die to create the raised and recessed parts of a metal pin, which is then filled with color or finished. Most pins use this technology. However, when more intricate details are to be included, such as 3D designs, a cast pin can be recommended. In a cast pin, the hot metal is poured into a cast or mold to create the final shape. 


There are several options available to plate a pin with your favorite metal. Though not all pins allow every type of metal plating, some might be available for your particular pin type. Or sometimes they are available at some extra costs. Plating is generally available in gold, silver, brass, nickel, copper, or an antique version of each. Black dye or black nickel is also available, which coats the metal in black.

Antique Finish

An antique finish on a custom lapel pin will give the final product an antique and vintage look. This method tints the recessed areas of the pin to a darker shade and allows the raised areas to be more polished and lighter. 

Sandblast Finish

Sandblast finish is similar to antique finis but with a more textured appearance. The pin is sandblasted, and then the raised areas are polished to make them smooth and shiny.

4-Color Process vs. Enamel Colors

Most traditional pins are hard or soft enamel. However, there is another option where the artwork is digitally printed on the pin itself. This method is known as a photo-print or 4-color process. After the printing is done, an epoxy dome is usually added to protect the image. 
These are the seven basic details of custom lapel pins that you should be aware of. Knowing what you want and how you want your pin to be manufactured will help you with ordering and avoiding confusion. You can always connect with us for excellent custom cloisonné pins and every other type of pin that will surely enliven your apparel and help you stand out from the crowd.

By Larry

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