Types of Lanyards

Types of Lanyards

When it comes to lanyards, you may think that the types and options available to you are limited. After all, it’s just a lanyard. But depending on it’s purpose, there are actually a surprising number of possibilities.  If you are struggling to know which lanyard type is right for you, what it should be made of, should you go screen printed or woven? Then we are here to help.

Screen printed

Screen printed is the most common type of lanyard. There are two screen printing methods available, silk screen and lithographic. Both options allow for multiple colour transfers and all colours can be pantone colour matched for both the design and the material used. This makes the screen printed lanyard an economical choice for those buying in bulk. They can be fully customizable for your brand or company and if you are looking for an easy promotional tool without breaking the bank, then screen printed lanyards are an excellent option.

Dye Sublimated

Dye sublimated lanyards are also sometimes referred to as heat transfer lanyards. This method means you can print on both sides and offers a higher quality of detail than screen printed lanyards. If you have a more complicated design and you are looking for photo quality images then dye sublimation lanyards are an excellent choice. The artwork can run off the edges of the fabric, allowing a greater room for design experimentation. They are a similar price to their printed counterparts but this technique can achieve a refinement for colour and design that you may not achieve with screen printed lanyards.


If you are looking for a lanyard that is either bespoke or hard wearing then this is a good option. The jacquard fabric designs are stitched or woven into the lanyard, guaranteeing the design’s longevity. However, because of the more complex manufacturing method, you are limited to a smaller amount of colours than with screen printing and dye sublimation. Although colours can still be pantone matched. Woven lanyards are a professional and stylish option that lends itself well to simple but effective branding.



There are five types of materials used to make lanyards:

  • Polyester
  • Nylon
  • Tubular
  • Eco – friendly: Bamboo and recycled PET (made from plastic bottles)

Polyester is the most common material used. Here at Only Lanyards we use a “flat weave” polyester. This gives this style of lanyard a matt finish. Durable and easy to maintain whilst being relatively inexpensive, it is a highly cost effective choice.

Although very similar to polyester in that nylon is both durable and washable, there are some slight differences. Nylon lanyards have a smooth ribbed appearance with a silky, lustre finish. Slightly higher in price than their polyester counterparts but still being fully customizable, nylon are a good choice if you are wanting a glossier appearance.

Tubular lanyards are actually made with polyester, but it is loose-stitched together and then woven together into a tube, creating a shoe lace effect. This makes it the most robust material lanyards are created with. The woven strands lend tubular lanyards an ability to stretch slightly when pulled, useful if you are attaching heavier objects, however this means there can be some distortion of design. So this option is recommended when you have single colour prints with a bold logo. Similar in price to flat weave polyester lanyards, the choice is just a matter of style and comfort, with no edges to aggravate the skin, the tubular lanyard can be more comfortable to wear for longer periods.

Eco-friendly materials

If you have environmental concerns on a personal level or you want your business to have a little more corporate environmental responsibility, then lanyards made from our eco-friendly materials are the right solution for you and your business. There are two options available, both can be pantone matched to your colour requirements and are manufactured using screen printing so there is no loss in customisation. Recycled PET is made from recycled plastic bottles and is very similar in appearance and feel to flat weave polyester. Lanyards can also be made from bamboo which is more akin to a cotton-like material and is much softer. They are both washable and durable.


Most lanyards are cut to industry standard sizes of 10mm, 15mm, 20mm and 25mm width. The standard length is 450mm. If you want to customise the size of your lanyard to suit your requirements then please bear in mind purpose, comfort and design. A large logo or complicated design will not work well on smaller lanyards, whilst the wider lanyards are not as lightweight and may cause discomfort if they are going to be worn all day.


There are two styles of lanyard, standard and double ended.  A standard lanyard is one strip of fabric looped round and joined with a clip, hook or some other form of attachment. A double ended lanyard is not joined in the centre but has a clip at either end, making this an ideal solution if you are using the lanyard for ID purposes, as it prevents the badge holder from twisting around and obscuring the identification.

Designer Lanyards

Here at Only Lanyards, we offer a bespoke service. We can incorporate different finishes and different materials to either enhance your design or make it entirely unique. This includes raised PVC print, denim, satin and double thickness materials. We can also add elements such as glitter, rhinestones or flashing LED’s, or create your lanyard to glow in the dark! The possibilities are endless.

As well as the types, the materials, the sizing and the manufacturing method, it is important to note one feature that is on all designer lanyards you purchase from us. They all have a safety break. Ensuring that no matter what lanyard choices you make, you know that they will be completely safe and user friendly.