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Home » Eyeglasses » Designer Frames » Frame Materials

Frame Materials

It’s time to choose a new pair of eyeglasses, and the current frame is overwhelming. Armed with only your vision prescription, you now need to navigate between different materials, colors, prices and the unique features of each eyeglass frame. Here is a basic guide that explains the most common types of frames and what they have to offer.

Metal Frames

Best described as “simple and conservative” metal frames come in a variety of different materials to emphasize certain characteristics.

Titanium: Extremely resilient and corrosion-resistant, titanium is also hypoallergenic and weighs in at 40% lighter than other metals. It can be blended with small quantities of other metals to enhance its flexibility to create “memory metal” which can be bent and will return to it’s original shape. The method with which color is applied to the frame is often a defining feature of quality among these frames. Higher quality titanium frames will oxidize the color into the metal to ensure a long lasting, and more durable finish. The frame lines featured here at Huffman Family Eye Care in this material are Silhouette & Nike Flexon.

Stainless Steel: Manufactured in both matte and polished, glossy finishes, stainless steel is strong, flexible, corrosion-resistant and lightweight. An iron-carbon alloy, it also contains chromium. The frame lines featured here at Huffman Family Eye Care in this material are Fysh & Kliik for ladies, and Evatik for men.

Nickel Alloy: Popular due to its low cost, these frames are found in nearly every optical. Generally, unless a metal frame boasts its material or an optician states otherwise, most metal frames are made of some blend of nickel and copper. Over time, however, these frames can discolor, and the paint colors can flake off.

Plastic Frames

Plastic, or as it’s affectionately known in the industry “acetate,” or “zyl.” These frames give you the ability to express yourself! They often come in beautiful colors, and unusual shapes to let your personality and style shine through. Different blends of acetate allow for different levels of quality in these frames.

Some of the defining features in the quality of an acetate frame are:

  1. The layering of colors and the play of light through the frame
  2. How well the frame accepts the heat an optician might apply to the frame to customize your fit
  3. How long the frame holds your customized adjustment
  4. The weight distribution. Higher quality acetates are designed with comfort and precision in mind. These frames are often engineered for an even distribution of their weight to avoid putting excessive pressure on either the ears or the nose after a lens has been added to the frame.

The highest quality acetate comes from Italy and is called Mazzucchelli Acetate. Generally, premium acetate frames are made with this particular acetate. At Huffman Family Eye Care, the STATE Co. frames feature this upper level of quality craftsmanship.