As the name implies, lapel pins are small brooches that are worn on the front folded parts of a formal jacket or coat. These could be worn purely for aesthetic or to identify the organization that a person is affiliated with.
These pins are used everywhere â schools, businesses, and as souvenirs. Businesses would award these pins to star employees and large convention could sell pins in the shape and design of a particular fandom. Pin collecting has become a popular hobby, with demanded designs ranging from logos of famous organizations to cartoon characters from TV shows or movies.
The process of making lapel pins hasnât changed much over the years, with many companies still following the same old processes (albeit more polished and automated) used by their predecessors.
1. Design â pin design are usually hand drawn digitally or on paper. When the artist finishes the design, he transfers it to a mechanical sheet and measures the dimensions of each part.
2. Molding and soldering â when production starts, the material needed to make the lapel pin (usually a form of metal or enamel) is melted and molded to form the desired design. The different molded parts are then cut and sent to be soldered together.
3. Plating and polishing â after soldering, the pins are dipped into plating liquid (the length of time depends on the quality of plating). After theyâve been dried, the pins are then polished to a shine.
4. Coloring and cleaning â Enamel paints are usually used to add color to the pins. They must be applied carefully, because if a color bleeds into another, itâs nearly impossible to remove. When the color dries, the pins are given a cleaning and then bake in an oven for a few minutes.
5. Coating â the pins are then coated with epoxy to seal the enamel colors.
Types of Clasps
Besides the design, there are actually many different types of clasps that are used to keep the lapel pins in place.
â¢ Butterfly clasp â the most common, the butterfly clasp is distinguished by the two prongs that could be squeezed together to release the pin.
â¢ Jewelry clutch â this is similar to the tack that keeps a stud earring in place.
â¢ Safety clasp â many button pins and brooches have this type of clasp. The sharp pin is tucked under a hook to keep the pin in place.
â¢ Stick pin â this type of pin has the design on one end of a long needle, and the sharp end on the other, which is covered by a rounded collar.