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Using nickel-plated hardware on bags that will be laundered

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Q. I'm starting a bag business and am confused about appropriate hardware to use on the bag straps. I've found "nickel-plated metal rings and slides." These bags will be laundered, so I'm worried the nickel-plated hardware will rust from being washed in water. Stainless steel hardware is significantly more expensive.

Someone told me to try putting a strong magnet up to the nickel-plated hardware: If the hardware is strongly magnetic, it will probably rust. If it's not strongly magnetic, the hardware should be OK through washings. Is this true?

One of the samples I got was not magnetic. The other two samples were VERY magnetic.

Please help! I don't want my products to end up with rusty hardware.

Thanks so much.

Susan Chuang
bag designer - Los Angeles, California, USA
January 29, 2008

simultaneous replies

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A. Why don't you try specifying lacquered nickel plated hardware which will pass a laundry test. I unfortunately do not have access to my old notes right how but I do know that there are laundrability specs from the clothing industry that applies to plated zippers, buttons, etc.

I hope this helps.

Gene Packman
process supplier - Great Neck, New York
February 1, 2008

A. Susan,
The non-magnetic nickel sample is probably a high phosphorous electroless nickel plated item. The phosphorus content (around 11%) offers excellent hardness, corrosion resistance, and is virtually non-magnetic. The samples that are extremely magnetic contain iron, and yes, will rust over time. See what the ring and slide manufacturer used for plating in the desirable sample, I would bet it's high-phos electroless nickel. Good luck with your new venture.

Mark Baker
Process Engineer - Syracuse, New York
February 1, 2008

February 5, 2008

thumbs up sign Thank you so much, Gene & Mark! Unfortunately, the sales reps that I've been in contact with don't know what type of plating was used on their hardware. They just know it's "nickel-plate." Haven't come across any lacquered nickel plate options so far, but I'll try to find out more about launderability specs.

So, Mark ... you think the non-magnetic nickel plate slide would be safe to launder? The rings, unfortunately, are super-duper magnetic.

I may just have to bite the bullet and buy the stainless steel hardware to be safe. ** sigh **

Susan Chuang
- Los Angeles, California, USA

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