With the availability and the development of polycarbonate, eyewear materials around the world changed from the more expensive metal and wood to plastic. Another major advantage that plastic brought with itself was that it could be moulded into many shapes and sizes.
Plastic frames, however, are undoubtedly the cheapest to produce. All the frames are injection moulded by a machine that heats the substance until it’s molten. And then the molten result gets squirted into a precise mould, the plastic is given time to cool down, and the plastic frame component is successfully produced. So the only reason to keep using plastic frames is that their cost of production is cheap.
But that’s the least of people’s concerns today. People want colour, people want promising quality, and people want their eyewear to look classy. Plastic frames can unfortunately not fulfil these requirements. The only way to get colour on to plastic frames is to paint them. But the paint eventually wears off and that ultimately makes the frames look cheap and of low quality.
Enter Acetate. Acetate, also known as cellulose acetate, is a plant-based plastic that is hypoallergenic. While this also a type of plastic, in eyewear terms acetate frames are different from regular plastic frames. This material was first used in the late 1940s in the manufacturing of eyewear, when the previously used plastic had started causing brittleness and other problems. Acetates, today, are known for being strong, flexible, and lightweight, which makes them ideal and much better than plastic frames.
They are the number one choice for everyone in the world when it’s time for them to select their eyewear. Acetates have the widest range for transparency, vivid colours, and finishes. By organizing several colours and transparencies into layers and mixing them together, more complex colourations are produced. Unlike colours painted on plastic frames, these do not fade or chip away and the finishing remains fine even after using them on a daily basis.
Another advantage of acetate is that it is made from renewable materials and thus is far more environmentally friendly than plastic.
So whether you want to place vibrant frames on your eyes, or elegant transparent ones, acetate is the way to go.