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What's a Lanyard?

The lanyard is everywhere. Used by schools, businesses, government agencies and other organizations for displaying id cards. Recent security concerns have dictated their use in more and more public places. In addition to i.d. cards, lanyards are being used for carrying cell phones, keys, pens, lip balm, water bottles and other small objects while keeping the hands free. Custom imprinted lanyards with names, logos and messages are great economical advertising vehicles, and are being used by many companies, organizations and individuals.

A lanyard is a narrow piece of material worn around the neck for holding small objects. Lanyards allow for these objects to be kept close by and accessible while keeping both hands free. Lanyards consist of two loops, one large and one small. The large loop fits over the head and the small loop which hangs down is for the object-attaching hardware. This type of lanyard, also commonly referred to as a neck lanyard, measures approximately 17" from the top loop to the bottom loop. Typically, the lanyard hardware is a snaphook or bulldog clip used for attaching i.d. cards as well as other small objects such as keys, whistles, flashlights, cell phones, mp3 players, pens and more. Necklanyards for holding name badges and i.d. cards are by far the most common and routinely used by schools, businesses and government agencies as well as other organizations, groups and clubs.

The two main components of a lanyard are the material and hardware. Lanyard material ranges from 1/8" cord to 3/8", 5/8", 1/2" and 1.0" wide cotton, nylon and polyester. A variety of lanyard hardware attachments are available, including snaphooks, bulldog clips and o-rings. Traditionally, lanyards were made from a continuous piece of material with no breaks. However, recent safety concerns around the workplace have dictated neck lanyards to be offered with a breakaway connector which allows the lanyard to be released from around the neck in the event it gets caught or snagged. These breakaway or "safety" connectors are available for both cord and all widths of flat lanyard material.

made from cotton and nylon are available in a variety of colors, while metal ball chains are typically sold with a "silver" nickel finish. Custom imprinted lanyards first appeared in the early '90s. Since then, custom lanyards with names, logos and messages have been steadily increasing in popularity. The most suitable lanyard materials for printing are cotton or nylon 3/8" to 3/4" wide. Custom printed lanyards are routinely used for business and school i.d. cards, trade shows, fundraisers, stadium events, family and class reunions, religious retreats and more. Various lanyard imprinting methods exist, resulting in different levels of print quality, durability and expense. The most economical printing method is hot stamping, producing commercial grade lanyards. Hot stamped lanyards are great for employee and student i.d. cards, as well as trade show name badges. Screen printing, which is commonly used for t-shirts and jackets, produces excellent quality imprinted lanyards. Screen printed lanyards can be used for i.d. cards, keys and other small objects, and is also suitable for retail store sales. The best overall lanyard imprint quality is achieved through a process known as dye sublimation. With both hot stamping and screen printing, the imprint remains on the material surface. With dye sublimation, the actual material yarns are dyed the color(s) of the imprint. Since the imprint penetrates the lanyard material surface, it is less subject to wear. The other advantage of dye sublimation is that more than one color can be printed on one or both sides. Dye sublimated lanyards are suitable for all occasions, events and store sales.

To this day, lanyards continue to grow in popularity as a convenient way to hold and display an i.d. card as well as other small objects. Major security concerns have dictated their use, from schools to government agencies. In addition to their object-carrying function, custom imprinted lanyards offer a relatively inexpensive medium for advertising business and individual names, logos and messages.- Article by Scott Shenkel