Lapel pin

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Wikimedia project lapel pins ProjectLapels.jpeg
Wikimedia project lapel pins

A lapel pin, also known as an enamel pin, [1] [2] is a small pin worn on clothing, often on the lapel of a jacket, attached to a bag, or displayed on a piece of fabric. Lapel pins can be ornamental or can indicate the wearer's affiliation with an organization or cause. Before the popularity of wearing lapel pins, boutonnières were worn.


A Wikipedia lapel pin Wikipedia Globe Pin.jpg
A Wikipedia lapel pin

Lapel pins are frequently used as symbols of achievement and belonging in different organizations. Lapel pins from the organization are often collected by members and non-members alike.

Businesses, corporates, & political parties also use lapel pins to designate achievement and membership. Lapel pins are a common element of employee recognition programs, and they are presented to individuals as a symbol of an accomplishment. Like fraternity and sorority pins, these lapel pins instill a sense of belonging to an elite group of performers at the organization. Businesses also award lapel pins to employees more frequently to boost employee morale, productivity, and employee engagement. [3] [4]

The Soviet Union had great production of these. Besides pins showing political figures and as souvenirs for tourist spots, there were pins for various sports, cultural, and political gatherings and for technical achievements of the Soviet Union.

In recent years, pin collecting and trading has also become a popular hobby. Demand for pin designs based on popular cartoon characters and themes such as Disney, Betty Boop, and Hard Rock Cafe has surged and led to the creation of pin trading events and other social activities. Disney pin trading is a prime example of this. [5]

Cultural significance

In the USSR and the People's Republic of China, the prominent lapel pins with portraits of Lenin and Mao Zedong, respectively, were worn by youth as well as by Communist party members or people who felt like showing their official political credo. In Czechoslovakia, the Mao badges/pins were worn in the late 1960s and early 1970s by non-conformist youth as a prank and a way to provoke the "normalisationist" reactionaries of the purged post-1968 Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.

In the 1970s, initiates of Guru Maharaj Ji extensively used buttons, sometimes quite large, with images of the guru's face on them. [6] [7]

Politicians in the United States often wear American flag lapel pins, especially after the attacks of September 11, 2001. [8] By 2008, the flag pin had become "the quickest sartorial method for a politician to telegraph his or her patriotism." [8] The practice declined somewhat in the following decade. [9]

Modern manufacturing process

A lapel pin vendor in Paris Vendeur de Pin's.jpg
A lapel pin vendor in Paris
An old enamel pin of the CSK Football Club from 1920 (Cakovec, Croatia) Znacka CSK (1920).jpg
An old enamel pin of the ČŠK Football Club from 1920 (Čakovec, Croatia)

Almost all manufacturing is currently done in China, specifically in and around Kunshan, a satellite city in the greater Suzhou region that is administratively at the county-level in southeast Jiangsu, China, just outside Shanghai. Inexpensive labor in China has made non-Chinese production of lapel pins few and far between. There are still multiple online shops run by people outside of China who make and sell lapel pins.

In the die struck manufacturing process, there are five basic types of pins: Cloisonné, soft enamel, photo etched, screen printed and 4-color printed. [10] In all processes, the outer shape of the pin is stamped out from a sheet of steel, aluminum, copper, brass, or iron. In the case of cloisonne and soft enamel, the shape and the design are stamped out.

Sometimes called epola (imitation cloisonné) or hard enamel, cloisonné is stamped out from a sheet of copper. The stamping leaves recessed areas, or pools, which are filled with enamel powder and high fired at 800° to 900°. [11] After cooling, the surface of the pin is ground down to a smooth finish and then the copper is plated.
Soft enamel
This process is like epola and cloisonné in that strips of metal separate areas of color. Unlike Cloisonné, the areas of color rest below the metal strip surface, which can be felt when you run your finger over the surface. Like the photo etched process, the top can be covered with protective epoxy [12] so that the piece appears smooth.
Photo etched
In the photo etch process, only the shape of the piece is stamped out. The design on the face of the pin is chemically etched into the base metal, then color-filled by hand and baked before being polished. In the final step, a thin coat of clear epoxy can be applied to the surface. [13]
Photo dome
The photo dome process begins by printing the art or design on vinyl or paper and then applying it to a metal pin base. The vinyl is then coated with an epoxy dome that protects the art from wear and the elements. This process is gaining in popularity because of advances in printing resolutions and the ability to complete these pins quickly in the United States. [14]
Screen printed
Screen printing, a.k.a. silk screening, is produced by applying each color to the metal base using a "silk screen" process. These are blocks of solid color. [15] A very thin epoxy coat protects the color material from scratching.
4-color process
4-color process, a.k.a. offset printing, allows for bleeds and blends of colors, as is used in magazines. The colors are printed in the traditional CMYK process. This style is can be used for complex art and photo reproduction. An unlimited number of colors can be used. [16]


Butterfly clutches Bunchclutch.jpg
Butterfly clutches

The backside of a lapel pin holds the pin in place, and attachment pieces come in a variety of styles. [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Etching</span> Intaglio printmaking technique

Etching is traditionally the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio (incised) in the metal. In modern manufacturing, other chemicals may be used on other types of material. As a method of printmaking, it is, along with engraving, the most important technique for old master prints, and remains in wide use today. In a number of modern variants such as microfabrication etching and photochemical milling it is a crucial technique in much modern technology, including circuit boards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Printmaking</span> Process of creating artworks by printing, normally on paper

Printmaking is the process of creating artworks by printing, normally on paper, but also on fabric, wood, metal, and other surfaces. "Traditional printmaking" normally covers only the process of creating prints using a hand processed technique, rather than a photographic reproduction of a visual artwork which would be printed using an electronic machine ; however, there is some cross-over between traditional and digital printmaking, including risograph. Except in the case of monotyping, all printmaking processes have the capacity to produce identical multiples of the same artwork, which is called a print. Each print produced is considered an "original" work of art, and is correctly referred to as an "impression", not a "copy". However, impressions can vary considerably, whether intentionally or not. Master printmakers are technicians who are capable of printing identical "impressions" by hand. Historically, many printed images were created as a preparatory study, such as a drawing. A print that copies another work of art, especially a painting, is known as a "reproductive print".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Printing</span> Process for reproducing text and images using a master form or template

Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images using a master form or template. The earliest non-paper products involving printing include cylinder seals and objects such as the Cyrus Cylinder and the Cylinders of Nabonidus. The earliest known form of printing as applied to paper was woodblock printing, which appeared in China before 220 AD for cloth printing. However, it would not be applied to paper until the seventh century. Later developments in printing technology include the movable type invented by Bi Sheng around 1040 AD and the printing press invented by Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century. The technology of printing played a key role in the development of the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Printed circuit board</span> Board to support and connect electronic components

A printed circuit board is a medium used in electrical and electronic engineering to connect electronic components to one another in a controlled manner. It takes the form of a laminated sandwich structure of conductive and insulating layers: each of the conductive layers is designed with an artwork pattern of traces, planes and other features etched from one or more sheet layers of copper laminated onto and/or between sheet layers of a non-conductive substrate. Electrical components may be fixed to conductive pads on the outer layers in the shape designed to accept the component's terminals, generally by means of soldering, to both electrically connect and mechanically fasten them to it. Another manufacturing process adds vias: plated-through holes that allow interconnections between layers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">T-shirt</span> Style of inexpensive fabric shirt

A T-shirt, or tee for short, is a style of fabric shirt named after the T shape of its body and sleeves. Traditionally, it has short sleeves and a round neckline, known as a crew neck, which lacks a collar. T-shirts are generally made of a stretchy, light, and inexpensive fabric and are easy to clean. The T-shirt evolved from undergarments used in the 19th century and, in the mid-20th century, transitioned from undergarment to general-use casual clothing.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vitreous enamel</span> Material made by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing

Vitreous enamel, also called porcelain enamel, is a material made by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 °C. The powder melts, flows, and then hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating. The word comes from the Latin vitreum, meaning "glass".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Digital printing</span> Method of printing

Digital printing is a method of printing from a digital-based image directly to a variety of media. It usually refers to professional printing where small-run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using large-format and/or high-volume laser or inkjet printers.

Within the commercial printing industry, the job of stripping involves arranging and joining film negatives as part of the process of preparing printing plates. In the UK, the same operation is termed "planning" and film positives are used, rather than the negatives in the USA. Because the industry has largely moved to digital processes, the job of stripping, or planning has become rare or even obsolete.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cloisonné</span> Enamelling technique used on metal

Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects with colored material held in place or separated by metal strips or wire, normally of gold. In recent centuries, vitreous enamel has been used, but inlays of cut gemstones, glass and other materials were also used during older periods; indeed cloisonné enamel very probably began as an easier imitation of cloisonné work using gems. The resulting objects can also be called cloisonné. The decoration is formed by first adding compartments to the metal object by soldering or affixing silver or gold as wires or thin strips placed on their edges. These remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel or inlays, which are often of several colors. Cloisonné enamel objects are worked on with enamel powder made into a paste, which then needs to be fired in a kiln. If gemstones or colored glass are used, the pieces need to be cut or ground into the shape of each cloison.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fastener</span> Hardware device that mechanically joins or affixes two or more objects together

A fastener or fastening is a hardware device that mechanically joins or affixes two or more objects together. In general, fasteners are used to create non-permanent joints; that is, joints that can be removed or dismantled without damaging the joining components. Welding is an example of creating permanent joints. Steel fasteners are usually made of stainless steel, carbon steel, or alloy steel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Disney pin trading</span> Small Disney inspired pins, often traded as a hobby

Disney pin trading is the buying and trading of collectible pins and related items featuring Disney characters, attractions, icons, events and other elements. The practice is a hobby officially supported and promoted by Disney.

Photoengraving is a process that uses a light-sensitive photoresist applied to the surface to be engraved to create a mask that protects some areas during a subsequent operation which etches, dissolves, or otherwise removes some or all of the material from the unshielded areas of a substrate. Normally applied to metal, it can also be used on glass, plastic and other materials.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Transfer printing</span>

Transfer printing is a method of decorating pottery or other materials using an engraved copper or steel plate from which a monochrome print on paper is taken which is then transferred by pressing onto the ceramic piece. Pottery decorated using the technique is known as transferware or transfer ware.

Viscosity printing is a multi-color printmaking technique that incorporates principles of relief printing and intaglio printing. It was pioneered by Stanley William Hayter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Award pin</span>

An award pin is a small object, usually made from metal or plastic, with a pin on the back, presented as an award of achievement or a mark of appreciation. They are worn on clothes such as jackets, shirts or hats.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Name tag</span> Item worn on someones clothes telling the wearers name

A name tag is a badge or sticker worn on the outermost clothing as a means of displaying the wearer's name for others to view.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Photochemical machining</span> Process that uses chemicals to machine sheet metal

Photochemical machining (PCM), also known as photochemical milling or photo etching, is a chemical milling process used to fabricate sheet metal components using a photoresist and etchants to corrosively machine away selected areas. This process emerged in the 1960s as an offshoot of the printed circuit board industry. Photo etching can produce highly complex parts with very fine detail accurately and economically.


Plique-à-jour is a vitreous enamelling technique where the enamel is applied in cells, similar to cloisonné, but with no backing in the final product, so light can shine through the transparent or translucent enamel. It is in effect a miniature version of stained-glass and is considered very challenging technically: high time consumption, with a high failure rate. The technique is similar to that of cloisonné, but using a temporary backing that after firing is dissolved by acid or rubbed away. A different technique relies solely on surface tension, for smaller areas. In Japan the technique is known as shotai-jippo, and is found from the 19th century on.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pin-back button</span> Ornament or badge for wearing, as on a lapel, often with a slogan or image

A pin-back button or pinback button, pin button, button badge, or simply pin-back or badge, is a button or badge that can be temporarily fastened to the surface of a garment using a safety pin, or a pin formed from wire, a clutch or other mechanism. This fastening mechanism is anchored to the back side of a button-shaped metal disk, either flat or concave, which leaves an area on the front of the button to carry an image or printed message. The word is commonly associated with a campaign button used during a political campaign. The first design for a pin-back button in the United States was patented in 1896, and contemporary buttons have many of the same design features.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anglo-Saxon brooches</span> Anglo-Saxon decorative brooches

Anglo-Saxon brooches are a large group of decorative brooches found in England from the fifth to the eleventh centuries. In the early Anglo-Saxon era, there were two main categories of brooch: the long (bow) brooch and the circular (disc) brooch. The long brooch category includes cruciform, square-headed, radiate-headed, and small-long brooch brooches. The long brooches went out of fashion by the end of the sixth century.


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  5. Pin collecting hobby
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