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Are acetate frames better than plastic frames?

Sep. 17, 2022

Acetate is comfortable, lightweight, stylish and meets all your needs. Therefore, it is arguably the best material for making eyeglass frames. Are acetate frames better than plastic frames? As a professional eyewear manufacturer, Jingwei is here to give you the answer.


acetate frames

What is cellulose acetate?


Cellulose acetate is a thermoplastic resin obtained by esterifying acetic acid as a solvent and acetic anhydride as an acetylating agent under the action of a catalyst, and it is the first cellulose organic acid ester among cellulose derivatives to be produced commercially and developed continuously.


First developed by scientist Paul Schützenberge in 1865, it was one of the first synthetic fibers. After years of research, it was not until 1940 that cellulose acetate became one of the most critical raw materials in the production of eyeglass frames.


Why are acetate eyeglass frames so unique?


The production of acetate frames allows for a variety of colors and patterns without the need to paint the frames.


The layering of acetate fibers gives eyeglass frames varying degrees of transparency and pattern. This beautiful design then makes acetate sheet frames a more desirable option than regular plastic eyeglass frames.


Acetate frames vs. plastic frames. What is the difference between them?


Acetate frames are lighter in weight and are generally considered to be of better quality than plastic frames. Acetate sheets are known for their hypoallergenic nature, making them a popular choice for people with sensitive skin. Unlike some plastic frames or metal frames, they can cause allergic reactions.


You can find very high quality plastic frames. However, they are usually not preferred over acetate frames for the following reasons.


(1) The manufacturing process makes plastic frames more brittle than acetate frames.


(2) Plastic glasses are difficult to adjust if there are no metal brackets at the temples.


(3) There are fewer color and pattern options


But one thing you will notice is that acetate frames are usually more expensive than regular plastic frames.


But eye frames are an everyday item that we use for a long time. In that sense, durability is essential, and acetate frames last longer.


acetate frames

When do you need to choose a pair of acetate frames?


(1) Lightweight and comfortable


As one of the daily necessities, lightweight acetate frames do not put a heavy burden on the bridge of your nose. From opening your eyes in the morning to resting your head on a pillow at night, you won't feel much discomfort even if you need to wear glasses all day.


(2) Durability


This is the key factor that makes acetate eye frames stand out from traditional plastic or other materials. Acetate frames are made by cutting, molding and polishing multiple pieces of material, which makes them as strong as metal and ideal for eyeglass frames.


(3) Rich designs


Would you consider choosing an eyeglass frame if it didn't come in any design or color? One obvious thing is that cellulose acetate eyeglass frames are fashionable in design first. Cellulose acetate is able to prove that it is the fashionable and trendy definition of eyeglass frames.


The surface of traditional plastic frames are usually sprayed with colors and patterns. It may have a nice design or color. But since it is only superficial, daily use will cause its surface colors and patterns to fade. After a year or even a few months, their appearance may not be as good as before. Unlike plastic eyeglass frames, acetate makes it easier to retain the design. Acetate sheets can be designed with colorful patterns, different layering and numerous available colors, and the embedded design can retain its characteristics more effectively without the need for spraying or painting.


Tortoiseshell acetate frame

So the next time you decide to buy a new eyeglass frame, consider one made of acetate. If you're not sure where to start, then Tortoiseshell acetate frame basic series may be a good place to start. Please contact Jingwei for a custom order.



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