Soft Vs Hard Enamel Pins – What’s The Difference?
If you follow the latest fashion trends and also have a penchant for fashion accessories, you must know that enamel pins are all the rage nowadays, and more and people are sporting them on their clothing and bags as a fashion statement. Enamel pins are pins that are constructed from different metals and have a certain design or artwork molded onto them.
Apart from being a fashion statement, enamel pins are also being used as a reflection of one’s personality, as well as to show support with a certain cause, individual, community, or organization. For instance, you may sport an enamel pin with a red ribbon for HIV/AIDS awareness, or a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness and research.
Similarly, there are thousands of different enamel pins that represent something or the other, and wearing them lets people around you know what you stand for. Nowadays, custom enamel pins are also on the rise, and people are making their own designs and getting them manufactured. This has become a major business as well.
If you have read about manufacturing enamel pins, you would also know that there are two main types of enamel pins hard and soft. This article covers soft vs hard enamel pins in great detail, and also guides you on which one you should choose if you are getting custom enamel pins made.
Soft Enamel Pins
Let’s have a look at soft enamel pins first. They are considered to be less durable than hard enamel pins, but they have a much more refined and detailed texture, and this makes them more suitable for designs that have a lot of detailing in them. They also have raised metal edges that gives them a more finished and glossier appearance, and this is why most people opt for soft enamel pins as when comparing them to hard enamel pins.
The introductory steps for the manufacturing of soft enamel pins are the same as hard enamel pins, and they are also made from the same material, which is die-struck iron. Once the molding and stamping is complete and the pins are ready, they are dipped into an electrolyte solution, which adds an external layer of gold or silver to them. This gives the pins a more elegant look.
Once this is done and the pins are left for a while, the manufacturer starts pouring colored enamel into the ridges of the textured pins. Once all of the pin is enameled and filled with color, it is put into an oven and baked at a high temperature, which causes the enamel to solidify and stay in place. Once cooled down, you can see the finished result of the soft enamel pins, which look incredibly beautiful once ready. If you run your finger over the pin, you will actually feel the raised metal borders on it.
Since soft enamel pins follow a process in which the enamel is poured onto them after the electroplating process, there are certain types of finishes and designs that can only be achieved with a soft enamel pin. For instance, if you have custom colors in your design, then soft enamel pins are the best option. Moreover, if you want a rainbow colored enamel pin or a pure black pin, then soft enamel pins are the way to go.
However, since they are less durable, soft enamel pins are prone to scratches and have to be handled with care. Moreover, soft enamel pins are less costly compared to hard enamel pins, because their production process isn’t as extensive.
Hard Enamel Pins
Now we come to hard enamel pins, which are also made from die-struck iron or zinc alloy, and also follow the same molding and stamping steps that are involved in the construction of soft enamel pins. Hard enamel pins are much more durable and damage-resistant compared to soft enamel pins, and they have a clean and flat look, as compared to the former’s textured and ridged appearance.
Once the initial steps are completed and the pins are produced, the next step is to fill each space inside the hard enamel pin with enamel, and manufacturers purposely add more enamel than is needed to fill them. The difference is that these pins are baked after each color enamel is added to the pin, so the number of times they are baked depends on the amount of colors that are included in your design.
Once all of the colors have been added and the pins are baked multiple times, they are thoroughly polished to remove any excess enamel and make the pins totally flat, instead of having a raised texture as in soft enamel pins. After this, the pins are dipped into the electrolyte solution and a layer of gold or silver is added to the exposed metal lines and parts.
The best part about this is that it doesn’t cover any of the enameled sections, so your pins maintain their texture and appearance. When you will run your fingers over hard enamel pins, you will notice that they don’t have any raised edges, and they have a much smoother appearance and feel.
Due to the process that is followed, hard enamel pins don’t have a lot of room for detailing and intricate designs, which is why they are mostly used for producing simple designs with a few colors. Plus, since the process involves a lot of enameling, baking, and polishing, hard enamel pins are more expensive and also require more production time.
Which One Should You Choose?
By now, you have a clear idea of the two different types of enamel pins that you can get manufactured if you have a custom design. Both of them have their pros and cons, as well as separate production processes that cause a difference in the production cost and time to deliver as well.
If you are thinking of running a full-fledged business and need to worry about your budget, soft enamel pins would suit you better, since they are cheaper to produce and can be quickly delivered as well. On the other hand, if you are more concerned about durability, hard enamel pins are the more suitable options, since they would last longer and also maintain their appearance for a long time.
When it comes to appearance, hard enamel pins have a more professional look and feel, and they are mostly used by companies and organizations to present to their employees as a reward for their hard work. Similarly, if you have an intricate design with a lot of detailing, then soft enamel pins are the ones you should order. They are mostly used by brands as giveaways and souvenirs for their customers.
Get Attractive Enamel Pins from My Enamel Pins
If you are on the lookout for the best hard and soft enamel pins, get in touch with My Enamel Pins. We have the best collection of enamel pins and lapel pins that you can find anywhere, and we also help you turn your design into a beautiful and high-quality enamel pin.