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What’s the Difference Between Hard & Soft Enamel?

What is Hard and Soft Enamel? 

We get asked almost daily, so we’re here to set the record straight:

Hard enameling: in any application of enamel, we start off with a base which is almost like a “bowl” for the liquid enamel. In hard enameling, this bowl is filled to the brim, then the extra is cleanly cut off, resulting in a completely flat surface that has a clean, cohesive reflection in direct light.

Soft enameling: in soft enameling, the bowl is not fully filled and a “valley” is allowed to form in the liquid enamel. This results in a hard surface that you can feel “dip” and then go up to the edges of the piece, as well as some interesting shadows and reflections. 

In terms of design, the two are the same; we can do the same colors, details and visual effects on either. The difference is how they feel and how shadowing or reflection alters their appearance. People choose one or the other based on aesthetic preference as some designs work better than others with either method. The free design that comes with each The/Studio order means you’ll get to see both before you decide.

You can try hard and soft enameling on lapel pins, cufflinks, challenge coins, tie bars and more.