Looking at the Different Types of Lanyards and How They’re Made

Lanyards have seen a variety of uses as a multi-purpose accessory ever since its inception in the 15th century. Nowadays, lanyards are typically used in workplace settings to conveniently hold identification cards, access cards, and keys. They can also be used to hold electronic devices and gadgets as well as safety accessories.

Apart from their practical applications, lanyards can also serve marketing and promotional purposes. They can be customized to bear a brand’s logo, colors, or name. The versatility of this accessory makes it a great promotion giveaway, especially since they can be manufactured in large quantities. This is why custom lanyards are popular among brands and organizations that want to market themselves to the public.

Whether you’re giving custom lanyards for your employees to use or as part of a corporate giveaway, you need to understand the types of lanyards and design methods available. This way, you can choose the best one that suits your needs.

In this article, you’ll find out the different types of lanyards and the kinds of printing methods used to produce them.

Choosing the Suitable Type of Lanyard

When it comes to the types of lanyards, you have several options to pick from. There’s plain, woven, printed, and tubular. Choosing the type of lanyard is also the first step when having some produced. For more details, read on.

Plain Lanyards

Plain lanyards feature a single color without any additional design or brand printed on the fabric. They can be made from different materials like cotton and nylon. Both are very durable and comfortable to wear around the neck. Some plain cotton lanyards are constructed like a twill ribbon, which appears like a wide shoelace. The cotton material feels softer and won’t rub against the skin on the neck.

On the other hand, plain lanyards made of nylon are more eye-catching due to their lustrous finish. Compared to other synthetic materials, nylon is softer. It’s also wrinkle-, stretch-, and stain-resistant. If you don’t need any particular branding for your lanyard, the plain one is the most cost-effective option.

Woven Lanyards

Woven lanyards commonly feature cotton material and have the design directly embroidered on the fabric. You can typically choose up to three colors to create the design you want. Once embroidered, the design will show up on the front part of the lanyard, while the back part exposes the reverse version of the design and the stitches. Due to their woven construction, woven lanyards are incredibly strong and provide a high-end look.

Printed Lanyards

Printed lanyards are made from polyester and use screen printing or dye sublimation process for the design to reflect on the material. These types of lanyards are often preferred by many brands because they are tough, come in an array of colors, and can be easily made with a variety of designs. Also, polyester lanyards can come in varying thicknesses. While the high-quality polyester allows users to utilize the lanyard in multiple scenarios, thicker lanyards may be more suited for engaging in outdoor activities.

Tubular Lanyards

For people who are on a tight budget, the economical choice is the tube lanyard. This type of lanyard is made of loosely stitched polyester and formed into a tube, providing the accessory a bit of elasticity while staying durable. This kind of construction also makes the lanyard look like tubular shoelaces. Even when they are pulled, the lanyard won’t break easily. This makes the lanyard perfect for carrying slightly heavier items such as mobile phones, small digital cameras, and small flashlights.

Designing Lanyards

After choosing the type of lanyard you want, it’s time to select the right technique to transfer the design onto the material. This step is one of the most important steps when creating lanyards as it will affect how your lanyards will look. Choosing a process that doesn’t work well with the lanyard’s material will end up with distorted designs or a look that falls behind your desired vision. To find out which one will have the best results, here are the commonly used design methods you can select from.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is a traditional printing method that has been around for centuries. It is the best choice if your intended lanyard design requires only one or two colors. The process begins with creating your design on a mesh screen. Then, uncut lanyards are arranged side by side until they are under the width of the printing mesh.

Once placed, the mesh is placed on top of the lanyards. Using top-quality paint and a rubber squeegee, paint is scraped on the screen. This is when the design is transferred onto the lanyards. The lanyards are then placed underneath a heat press so the inks sets.

Typically, this printing method is only done on one side of the lanyard. But it can also be applied to both sides as long as the ink sets and dries completely on one side first before proceeding to screen print the other side.

Woven Method

The woven method of designing lanyards provides a textured and natural feel. It’s also similar to embroidering clothes. This process is best for simple designs. Also, for people who want a professional and classic look, the woven technique is a perfect choice.

To begin this process, the lanyard design is programmed into the special weaving machine along with other specifications. Then, the lanyards are fed into the machine and the design is stitched into the fabric.

Dye Sublimation

When it comes to printing designs on lanyards, dye sublimation is the most modern method used to date. This technique works best on a more intricate design with lots of colors. It produces a smooth finish as the dye bleeds deep into the material, rather than just sitting on the surface. Also, this kind of printing process can provide an edge-to-edge design on the lanyards.

The dye sublimation process starts with adapting the chosen design based on the lanyard’s specification and size. Then, a reverse image of the final design is then printed on heat-resistant transfer paper. This image is heat-pressed onto the lanyard, giving a vivid design that won’t crack or fade over time.

Sewing and Placing the Attachments

Once printed, the lanyards go through cutting and sewing. They will then be cut into the specified length and sewn to create the loop design lanyards are known for. Next, the attachments are sewn at the ends. Depending on the purpose that you want the lanyards to serve, you can place attachments like bulldog clips, split rings, and metal hooks. You can also opt for a mobile phone ring hook, a badge reel, or a badge holder.

Lanyards are practical accessories that can be used in many different ways due to the wide variety of designs and types available. As such, if you plan on having custom lanyards made, it’s important to consider both the material and the design printing process. This way, you get well-designed lanyards according to your specifications that can suit your exact needs.

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