Lanyards were designed primarily to allow people to carry small objects around their necks, thus keeping their hands free. They consist of a large loop that fits over one’s head and another small one at their bottom where objects are attached. People usually use them for holding ID cards or badges as conference lanyards or giveaway products. However, they can also be used for daily tasks, such as carrying keys, cell phones, or mp3 players. This article will focus on describing all the essential elements that lanyards involve: material, hardware selection and instructions.
The material used for making neck lanyards can vary from simple cords or beaded chains to 1.0″ wide flat cotton or synthetic webbing. The standard cut length – if measured from one end to the other – is 36″. Once loops are formed, the finished size is approx. 17″. The diameter of nylon and cotton lanyard cord materials is usually 1/8″ to 3/16″ and is available in a wide range of colours. Beaded chains are available in both metal and plastic. Nickel plated brass ball chains are some of the most popular ones for attaching ID cards. The standard ball size for beaded chains is 0.12″ in diameter, while the overall chain length ranges between 24″ to 30″. Both ball chains and cord lanyards are commonly known as blank lanyards (i.e. non-imprinted). They usually are among the cheapest available lanyards. Nylon, polyester and flat cotton are the most common materials used for custom printed lanyards.
The standard material widths used for printing usually ranges from 3/8″ to ¾”. However, wider types of materials allow more robust imprints and improved logos. The material selection substantially depends on the type of printing process that is going to be used. Nylon and cotton are usually used for screen printing, while polyester is required for hot stamping or dye sublimation. The lanyard hardware is usually selected depending on the use you intend to give to lanyards. Bulldog clips and snap-hooks are the most used pieces of hardware for ID cards and name badges. Snap-hooks are used as well for attaching different objects such as pens, cell phones or whistles.
A snap-hook is a piece of plastic or metal hardware that stays closed as a result of the material’s tension. By applying side pressure, they easily bend open. Bulldog clips are specifically produced for attaching ID holders and cards and feature oblong holes that are punched out of the top. By squeezing the end, they will open like jaws and close when they are released. Lanyards with split ring hardware are normally used for attaching keys and consist of coiled wires that allow you to slink keys on and off. When ID cards incorporate bulldog clips, solid O-rings are added.
Apart from attaching lanyard hardware, “inline” lanyard hardware is also available. It adds additional functionality and safety to the lanyard. Side squeeze or centre push buckles are used to release a lower lanyard segment that contains the lanyard hardware and the attached object. This way you won’t have to take off the lanyard to use the attached object. Breakaway connectors are used for increased safety, especially in schools, hospitals, offices, or other environments where lanyards can get pulled or snagged. These breakaways, also known as “safety” connectors, consist of female and male parts which are installed in line and only come apart if sufficient force is applied. Breakaway connectors can be used with both cord and lanyard material.