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Published: October 18, 2020

What Are Lanyards Made From & How Are They Made?

Lanyards are commonly seen at conferences, festivals and in the workplace. They are loops of fabric or cord with a metal or plastic clip on the end. Some will have a safety breakaway clip in the back to ensure the lanyard falls away if it becomes tangled or trapped.

Lanyards can be made of many different materials depending on the use and the design. Many lanyards are made from cotton threads, but thanks to increased demand for sustainable products, many lanyard buyers are turning to alternative materials. These include bamboo threads and recycled plastic.

You might think that a bamboo thread wouldn’t be very strong, or that a plastic lanyard would be uncomfortable to wear, but threads made from these materials are actually very strong and durable.

Read on to discover the types of lanyards we offer at Lanyards Online and how they are made.


There are many different lanyards available, from plain braided cotton cord, to twill cotton and even embroidered cotton lanyards. These are some of the main types of lanyard materials and the biggest benefits they offer.


Plain and woven lanyards are typically made from cotton strands. Our plain coloured lanyards are constructed as a twill ribbon, which is similar to the design of shoelaces. This makes them incredibly strong and durable.

With embroidered lanyards, the design is woven directly into the lanyard. With a woven lanyard, you can choose up to 3 colours to create your design, and the reverse of the lanyard will be the reverse of your threads. Plain lanyards are cost-effective if you don’t need branding. Woven lanyards are incredibly strong, durable and have a high-end finish.


Printed lanyards are typically made from polyester and then screen printed or dye sublimation printed to create the final design. Polyester printed lanyards are incredibly strong and durable. They are also ideal for branding as you can choose from a variety of designs.


Bamboo lanyards are one of the newest available and are incredibly strong and durable. If you’re running an event with an eco-friendly theme, these lanyards are the perfect promotional tools. Bamboo feels like incredibly soft cotton and can be screen printed with your design.


If you really want to do your bit for the environment, our recycled PET lanyards could offer the ideal solution. They are made from recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), or plastic bottles, so they offer a great solution to the problem of plastic waste. PET is strong, durable, waterproof and suitable for full-colour printing.


Lanyards start life as a continuous spool of cord or ribbon. For screen printing, the lanyard material is laid out in rows so that multiple lanyards can be printed at once. For full dye printing, the design is pressed onto the polyester satin fabric.

Once printed, the lanyards can be assembled by sewing them into loops and adding the necessary components. This will include adding a break away clip to the back and the lobster claw clip at the bottom. We are also able to supply your lanyards with a range of other clips and hooks to suit your needs.

While lanyards can be produced on a large scale, there is still a high level of skill involved in making them. They are very much still hand-crafted, as many of the steps in the process cannot be completed by machines.


The best option before considering recycling your lanyards is to think about ways you can repurpose them around your home. They can be used to organise keys, gardening equipment or other items like children’s toys.

If you can’t find a use for them around your home and you have a few piling up, you could consider donating them. Charity run events may need lanyards to organise volunteers, but they might not have the budget for printing.

Another option for recycling your lanyards would be to take them to a charity shop. Some lanyards could become collectable if they are from special events such as concerts. And finally, you could place them in a fabric recycling collection bin. This will allow the fabric fibres to be recycled and turned into something new.

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