At Visio Optical, we have a wide range of glasses, and they are made from many different materials. We have frames with materials ranging from metal alloys, pure titanium, aluminum, injection plastics, to the more premium cellulose acetate.
In this article we want to tell you why cellulose acetate is a great choice for your next eyewear. If you are looking for plastic spectacles, you should read this article.
Many kinds of plastics for eyewear
Plastic is a popular material for eyewear. However, not all plastic eyeglasses have the same properties. In fact, there are many types of plastics that are used to make spectacles. And different plastics will have different features.
Some people consider plastic a cheap material that you will find only in affordable glasses. Indeed, some plastic materials are brittle. They will break after a short time. Some other plastic materials will flake and the color will come off. Yet other plastic materials cause allergies and skin reactions. Furthermore, most plastic materials are not friendly to the environment. This is not the case for cellulose acetate.
When it comes to quality, the best plastic material is cellulose acetate.
What is cellulose acetate?
Cellulose acetate is not an ordinary plastic.
Usually called just “acetate”, cellulose acetate is a natural material. It is made from wood pulp or cotton.
Large crops of cotton are harvested, and the white cotton bolls are cleaned. Then, special machines refine the cotton and extract the cellulose. With the addition of acetic acid, the cellulose of the cotton becomes “cellulose acetate”. At this point of the process, cellulose acetate is a white and opaque material, similar to wax or clear playdough.
With the addition of powdered dies, the cellulose acetate will take any possible color. Passing the material through rolls, the result is large sheets of colorful cellulose acetate.
To create patterns, a machine cuts the blocks into pellets. Then an artisan combines the pellets of different colors with great skill, to form any possible arrangement. Then a mold presses all the colorful combinations of pellets again into blocks.
A machine cuts the blocks into large sheets. Lastly, an oven holds the acetate at a consistent temperature for several days before storage. It is then ready to make glasses.
Many industry experts consider cellulose acetate to be one of the best materials for eyeglasses. Acetate is on another level, when we compare it to other plastic compounds. Since it comes from natural sources, it is virtually allergy-free.
Italy and Japan make the best cellulose acetate in the world. Eyewear companies use it to make premium, high-quality glasses that look luxurious That’s why successful eyewear brands use acetate in their best products.
Why is cellulose acetate better then other plastics?
Acetate has many different characteristics that make it stand apart from other plastics. Here’s a look at why acetate is superior:
- Strong – The material was introduced in the 1940s as an alternative to existing plastics as they were brittle and dull. The cellulose structure of this material makes it incredibly strong, capable of handling everyday use and a lot of wear.
- Flexibility – This plastic is more flexible than other materials. It is less likely to break under pressure because of its ability to bend and resist. This flexibly ensures your glasses can stand up to regular rough use without issues. For example, if you throw your glasses on the desk in frustration during work, it isn’t going to break.
- Transparency – Acetate has the widest range of transparency and colors out of any other material. This allows the manufacturers to experiment with design and come up with unique styles that no other material can match. That’s one of the reasons why acetate is such a popular material in the eyewear industry.
- Customizability – Acetate retains a distinct advantage that most injection plastics don’t have – customizability. Injection plastics and all thermo-set plastics will take the shape of a mold. After they are created, it is not possible to modify their shape. In comparison, you can shape, modify, customize and color cellulose acetate in any way you want to get a unique design. A designer’s creativity is the only limit with this material.
These are just some of the many properties that make acetate stand apart from other materials available in the market. Don’t mistake it for generic lightweight plastic that can break easily under pressure.
What are the benefits of cellulose acetate frames?
There are many reasons why manufacturers like acetate, but how does it benefit customers? Most customers want the same thing from their glasses: looks, comfort, and durability. Acetate offers all of these and more. Here’s a look at some of its most significant benefits:
- Lasts for a long time – When we say acetate is durable, we don’t just mean it remains physically intact after years of use. Most plastic materials can last for years, especially if you maintain them. However, acetate is durable without losing its appearance. It will look glossy and appealing even after two or three years of use. It doesn’t scratch or fade easily, and it is possible to polish it. The flexible and strong frame that can take a lot of abuse.
- Lightweight – Different wearers have different preferences when it comes to weight. Some dislike heavy frames, while others prefer heavier frames. Acetate strikes the right balance between the two. It is 25% lighter than most metal frames, but it is a little bit heavier than plastic frames. These products have some heft to ensure they state on your face without being a burden. Acetate frames are also ideal for young children who can’t handle heavy products but are likely to break lightweight ones.
- Wide range of colors – Multiple layers of colored acetate sheets will create beautiful eyewear frames. Manufacturers can create thousands of unique and exciting patterns so you can find eyewear that suits your preferences perfectly. It is possible to polish this material until it has a glass-like sheen that lasts for several years. When it comes to appearance and design, few materials can beat acetate.
It’s good for you and for the environment
Not only acetate is a good material for spectacles. It comes with extra benefits for your health and it’s friendly to the environment.
- Non-Petroleum Based – Most plastics available in the market are from petroleum raw materials. Acetate is different because it comes from fibers of wood pulp and cotton. It is one of the few non-petroleum based plastics used in manufacturing.
- Hypoallergenic – Many eyeglasses wearers are allergic to metals, and some are even allergic to petroleum-bases plastics. They need something that is skin-safe and comfortable for everyday wear. Acetate is the perfect material because it doesn’t cause adverse reactions. Many manufacturers ensure their products don’t have additional compounds that may cause allergic reactions. This means most cellulose acetate glasses available today are safe to wear.
- Eco-Friendly – Many modern customers forgo plastic because they don’t want to burden the environment. They consider wood or metal more eco-friendly alternatives. Acetate is a plant-based material that is easy to recycle or renew. It comes from a sustainable source rather than rapidly depleting fossil fuels. If you’re concerned about the environment, this material is the right choice.
Choose cellulose acetate for your next eyeglasses
Like all eyeglasses, spectacles made of acetate come in a wide range of designs, brands, and prices. Acetate eyeglasses are widely available, and they can be also affordable. If you are on a budget but still want high-quality frames, these products a great option for you.
At Visio Optical, we have a wide range of spectacles made from acetate so you can easily find something that suits your tastes and preferences in our store.