What's A Lanyard?


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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 id cards as well as other small objects such as keys, whistles, flashlights, cell phones, mp3 players, pens and more. Neck lanyards for holding name badges and id 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", ½" 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.

The most basic lanyard available is a blank (non-imprinted) cord or metal ball chain. Cord lanyards 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 ¾" wide. Custom printed lanyards are routinely used for business and school id cards, tradeshows, 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 id cars as well as tradeshow 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 id 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 id 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. For a complete selection of blank lanyards, custom imprinted lanyards and id holder accessories at below wholesale prices visit www.justlanyards.com .

Scott Shenkel has been in business since 1991. His company RMG Accesssory Gear specializes in the manufacturing and custom imprinting of promotional items for both business and individuals. On-line since 1999, Scott’s online business continues to grow through the development of a diverse range of product and informational based websites from engraved keychains and unique promotional products (http://www.keychainsinc.com ) to customized military and personalized dog tags (http://www.dogtagsinc.com ). He attributes his online success to offering great customer care along with superior product quality and selection at the guaranteed lowest wholesale prices.


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