Why we think brass is the best material for stable name plates

Why we think brass is the best material for stable name plates

If you’re looking to update or replace your stable name plate, you might be overwhelmed by the various materials available on the market, including the most common: plastic and wood.

At Engraving Studios, we think brass is the best material for stable name plates, it’s attractive in appearance and has a number of functional benefits too.  It’s this combination of aesthetics and functionality that makes brass the perfect choice.  


If you’ve not considered brass before or you’re not sure which option suits you and your horse, we’ve compared the main pros and cons of the two most common materials (plastic and wood) alongside brass, so you can make an informed decision.


Appearance 

Appearance is a very personal choice but there are some commonly held beliefs attached to certain materials, for example, we all know the benefits of plastic include the variety of colours that are available and it’s easy to mass manufacture; making it perfect for everyday items.  This benefit does mean that plastic can sometimes be considered a cheap material, no matter how expensive the finished item is to purchase.

Wood can be very attractive and comes in a wide variety of finishes from inexpensive pine to the rarest hardwood.  Hardwoods can be more aesthetically pleasing, but there’s growing concern over their sustainability with these trees taking much longer to grow and being more difficult to replace when cut down.  Because of its rapid growth, pine is often preferred as a sustainable wood source but does not offer the same charm as a hardwood.

Historically, brass has been used by skilled craftsmen for artistic objects and not just for its functionality.  When polished, it has a bright shine like gold but is also warm in appearance when dull, and interesting when covered with a patina.  Most people prefer to keep their brass polished to a high shine but even when weathered and worn by the elements, it has a distinctive charm.  When combined with a wooden stable door, the two materials compliment each other beautifully.


Durability

Apart from the appearance of your horse’s stable, we know your other main consideration is probably how long your stable name plate will last for. 

Plastic is notorious for environmental problems due to the long time it takes to decompose, but this doesn’t mean plastic will appear attractive throughout its lifetime.  It’s prone to sun bleaching and can crack when exposed to varying temperatures.

As a natural material, wood is prone to rot in an outside environment, like a stable.  It’s also affected by the weather including expanding and warping when wet or contracting and cracking when exposed to heat.  This weakness requires wood to be treated to protect it from the elements.  There are many options available but it can be time consuming to maintain and has a limited lifespan, for example exterior varnish can start to deteriorate in only 2-3 years.

Brass is more durable than wood or plastic, as evidenced through its many industrial purposes including being used for home hardware for centuries.  You will also find brass on external architecture due to its exceptional weather and temperature resistance.  Unlike iron which rusts through exposure to the environment, brass develops a protective coating called a patina and won’t expand or contract when facing extremes of temperature.


Maintenance

Cleaning and maintenance might not be at the top of your list but it’s the one thing you need to regularly carry out to ensure the durability and appearance of your stable name plate.  Many people have been led to believe plastic is the easiest material to maintain and brass is the most time consuming, but that isn’t the case.

Because scratches in plastic are easily done, can’t be repaired and show up clearly on shiny plastic surfaces, cleaning needs to be conducted very gently and carefully to ensure you don’t damage your stable name plate.  Because of the softness of plastic and its susceptibility to scratching, you may need to soak thick dirt and this increases the chance of your wooden stable door becoming water damaged.  Some products can burn or mark plastic, so you need to choose cleaning products carefully.

Even if wood is protected with varnish, wood sealant or paint, these finishes create additional cleaning problems - as with plastic their surfaces can be easily scratched.  Wood can also be difficult to clean because the amount of water required to remove tough stains may make your stable name plate warp or expand.  

In addition, both plastic and wood are susceptible to staining with being porous compared to brass.

Surprisingly, of the three materials brass can be the easiest to care for due to its increased durability.  It doesn’t warp or crack if it gets wet, it doesn’t stain when in contact with dyes and unlike plastic or wood, everyday scratches can be simply removed with a specialist cleaning product, which also helps to return the brass to a bright shine.

This is why we believe brass is the best material for your stable name plate, it’s easy to maintain, has exceptional durability and also looks great when compared to the most common alternatives. 

If you’re thinking of upgrading, updating or replacing your stable name plate, you’ll find a great selection on our page dedicated to horses.

Summary

At Engraving Studios, we believe brass is the best material for your stable name plate, it’s easy to maintain, has exceptional durability and also looks great when compared to the most common alternatives.  We’ve given you our top three reasons but there are many more that prove brass is the best choice.

If you’re thinking of upgrading, updating or replacing your stable name plate, you’ll find a great selection on our page dedicated to horses here