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Tuesday, 10 December 2019

 Lapel pins, sometimes also known as enamel pins, are pins worn on the lapel of a jacket. At times, one may also choose to attach them to the straps of their bags or display them on a commemorative piece of fabric (such as a flag or banner). In addition to being simply ornamental and giving an aesthetic effect, lapel pins can also be used to show the wearer's affiliation with a certain cause or organization. 

 You must have noticed the pink ribbon lapel pins that people wear during the month of October to show their support for people suffering from breast cancer.

In fact, the passion for lapel pins has grown to such an extent that they are now becoming collectors’ items and can fetch a significant sum in auctions. Due to this growing interest, we thought it would be interesting to discuss the manufacturing process of lapel pins to educate you, the reader, on this fascinating piece of social dynamics. 

So without further ado, let’s go! 

Stamping Molding

In the first step of the process, metal is molded to create the external design of the lapel pin. Shapes, sizes, and contours are all decided and put in place on the metal during this stage of the process.

Outline Cutting

Once the molding marks the outside edges, the outline of the design is cut using a cutting mold. Depending on the design, the cutting stage can take significant time to ensure that the decided dimensions are in place. Furthermore, if the design is complex, additional cuts will need to be made with different cutting molds.


Once the metal is cut and the basic shape of the lapel pin is in place, the pins are then put through the plating process. The longer the pins are soaked in plating liquid, the better quality plating one achieves. 


After the plating stage is complete, the surface will appear rough and uneven. To fix this, the pins are polished using sandpaper or other polishing equipment depending on the material of the pin.


Possibly the most interesting stage of the entire manufacturing process is the coloring. Using syringes, the enamel is inserted by hand in accordance with the decided design. A great degree of skill and care is required as the smallest hand movement can ruin the design. This is why custom lapel pins take so long to manufacture, especially when the design and color are unique.


This isn’t simply wiping the pin with a clean cloth. Specific cloth material is used to ensure the design is not ruined and any impurities are removed.


After the cleaning is done and impurities have been removed, the pins are baked in specially made furnaces at a temperature of approximately 450F. Depending on the size of the pins, baking can take anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes. 

Epoxy Coating

To give lapel pins their extra shine and make them more noticeable, epoxy is applied to them as the final stage of the process. Not only does this make the lapel pin pop more, but it also increases the life of the pin, making it usable for a longer period of time and building resistance to natural elements.
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