What is the difference between soft enamel and hard enamel? It is one of the most common questions in the custom badge creation industry.
Cloisonne is an ancient technique used in creating custom badges. The general idea in cloisonne is to use ridges on the surface of the metal item to separate and hold applications of coloured enamel, which is cured and finished as needed.
Our custom badges at Morning Craft can be created using these two enamels. The cloisonne process is adjusted to accommodate every type of pigmented material.
What is soft enamel?
Soft enamel is a thick paint which will be cured at temperature. The custom badges will be stamped to create the recessed area, or ridges need to contain free-flowing enamel relatively. The suitable shapes of custom badges will be plated with metal finishes such as gold—silver, nickel or copper, which will apply enamel paint. The custom badges will have a fast trip through an oven at a reasonably low temperature cures the enamel. The unique feature of soft enamel badges is that the level of the cured enamel will remain below the metal ridges, which offers a textured feeling and look. Custom badges made by using soft enamel can be finished with an epoxy dome that protects and smooths.
The bowl is not filled in soft enamel, and a valley is allowed to form in the liquid enamel. This result in a hard surface that you will feel dip and go up to the edges of the piece and some interesting shadows and reflections.
What is Hard Enamel?
Hard enamels are created from solid resin or glass, cured under much higher temperatures than soft enamel. Custom hard enamel badges start similar to soft enamel. But hard enamel involves the process that follows.
In intricate enamel, resins of the chosen colour are added to the right parts of the badges and cured one at a time. Then, each custom badges are polished or finished to bring it down to the level of the custom badge’s exposed ridges. At last, the custom badges are electroplated before polishing. In applying enamel, we begin with a base that is like a bowel for the liquid enamel. During intricate enamelling, the bowl is filled to the brim and cut off cleanly, creating a flat surface which is clean and has cohesive reflection under direct light.
Design for enamel badges
The design for these two enamels badges is the same. At Morning Craft, you can do the same color, details and effects on your gifts. The only difference is the feeling and shadowing or reflection on their appearance. Customers usually choose the right enamel according to their aesthetic preference because some designs work better than others. Contact us today to try enameling on custom made keychains, custom badges, custom tie clips, lapel pins, custom medals, bulk bottle openers and more. We offer a free design, which means you can see both options before making a decision.
Which method is better?
Both of them have its advantages and disadvantages. When making the decision, you would better consider the essential issues:
Custom soft enamel badges tend to cost less than hard enamel because hard enamel needs a more labour-cost production process which is unavoidable.
Details for these two enamels are typically small. Soft enamel metal badges custom can display cleaner and more pieces. Hard enamel badges are polished several times. Their exposed ridges are more rounded and spread out. Custom badges created by modern complex enamel processes closely reflect the results achieved by classical cloisonne techniques. Although the healthy design and produced soft enamel badges are attractive, they are more elegant than their rigid enamel counterparts.
Compared to soft enamel badges, hard enamels are more scratch resistant and durable. However, soft enamel badges can be covered in epoxy, which protects them against damage.
A bare soft enamel badge has a texture resulting from the height difference between painted portions and metal ridges as the areas which are colored on hard enamel badges are overfilled and then polished after curing, a smoother feel and look results. When soft enamel badges are covered by epoxy, the smoothness of the surface takes the place of the usual texture. We are happy to make these two enamel on gifts even for a custom race medals no minimum.
Both these two enamels can to used to create attractive and high-quality custom badges. Understanding how the process works and the advantages of each will help you make the appropriate choice easily.