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Eyewear Glossary Guide


ACETATE:  Cellulose Acetate is a plant-based plastic made from cotton and wood pulp that is hypoallergenic.  Acetate is known for being lightweight yet strong, and for holding frame adjustments very well.  Acetate also has the widest range of color possibilities: from transparent to opaque, simple monocolors to complex patterns, and multi-layer laminations. 

TITANIUM:  Titanium is extremely lightweight yet durable, and is also hypoallergenic making it the ideal choice for people with sensitive skin.  This corrosion-resistant metal can be produced in a variety of colors and finishes.

STAINLESS STEEL: Light weight and strong metal, with low toxicity. It is also nickel-free making it hypoallergenic, and a good alternative to titanium. It contains 10 to 30 percent chromium, which provides excellent resistance to corrosion, abrasion and heat.

ALUMINUM: The world’s most abundant and widely used nonferrous metal. Highly corrosion-resistant, lightweight and soft to the touch; it is utilized in high-end eyewear due to its unique look and clean finish. 

NYLON: The next generation of frame materials, Nylon is both lightweight and resilient. Unique colorations are possible, including multilayer and mirrored finishes.

CARBON FIBER: Borrowed from high-tech industry, Carbon Fiber is a highly durable, flexible and lightweight material that also adds a modern, minimalist look to eyewear.

WOOD:  Wood temples add a natural, sophisticated, rich look to our frames.  We use a variety of premium hardwoods including mahogany, bubinga, ebony, and rosewood.



A set of three numbers listed on the temple that indicate (in order) eye size, bridge width, and temple length. These are measured in millimeters.

EXAMPLE:  54 18  145

EYE SIZE: The horizontal measurement of the lens on any frame at its widest part. This distance is measured in millimeters.

BRIDGE: The width between the lenses on a eyeglass/sunglass frame. Manufacturers typically measure this width at the widest point between the two lenses.

TEMPLE: The arm of the frame, running from the hinge to the end that wraps behind you ear.



HARDWARE:  Metal décor can be applied to the front of the frame, the temples, or both.  Some metal décor is simply added for aesthetic value, while others are actually a part of the hinge.  These functioning décor pieces, or “working rivets”, help to secure the hinge and are drilled through the frame, showing as flat pins. Another type of hinge that is often used is a “flex” or “spring” hinge which provides extra flexibility and comfort.

NOSE PAD: The pads mounted to eyewear on either side of the nose, which helps support the frame.  On acetate frames the nose pads are most often “built-in,” either sculpted from the frame front material, or made from clear acetate which is then laminated to the frame front.   Another type is the “adjustable” nose pad, where metal nosepad arms are fixed to the frame front, holding pads made from silicone or plastic which rest on the nose.  These metal nose pad arms are adjustable, allowing the frame to fit on a variety of different faces.