Eyecare Frame Materials Guide
Produced for T Mobile in association with Eyecare International
Quick reference frame material guide Metal
Frame style checklist
How to choose the right frames for you Finding the right frames for you starts with knowing what suits your appearance, lifestyle and activities. These can help determine whether your frames will be light, heavy, ﬂexible, stiff, unique or simple. Every material used to make eyewear frames has a unique set of strengths that make it distinct. These strengths can help to determine whether your frames will be light or heavy, ﬂexible or stiff, unique or simple. So whether you’re looking for cheap ‘n’ chic, hardwearing, fashion forward or studious, identifying the right material will help to lead you to the perfect frames.
Metal frames The strong, bendable and lightweight variations on offer have made metal frames increasingly popular. Their incredible durability is a signiﬁcant beneﬁt for anyone who needs frames that are hardwearing and attractive at the same time. Although metal frames are traditionally a conservative choice, they are now popular for achieving a modern, minimalist look.
Beta titanium Qualities Highly ﬂexible, strong and lightweight alternative to pure titanium. Beta titanium is also nickel free and hypoallergenic, so will not cause skin reactions. Appearance Slight and subtle, making it a popular choice for rimless glasses that are designed to look ‘barely there’. Beta titanium is often used in place of spring hinges at the temples to enhance comfort and ﬁt. Durability Even more ﬂexible than pure titanium and can withstand being bent, or dropped without losing its shape. Spring hinges in this material also withstand tugging better than traditional screw types. Lifestyle Parent, Athletic, First time wearer Ideal for parents, active people and those not used to wearing glasses. Anyone who want frames that are subtle, comfortable and can survive the odd accident! Parent No need to worry about glasses being tugged by baby or even falling right off while playing with the kids! Beta titanium is stronger and more durable than standard stainless steel and plastic frames. Active, Athletic This material’s incredible ﬂexibility is practical for nonstop wear or sport. First time wearer The subtlety of beta titanium is ideal for people who are still adjusting to the look, feel and image change of wearing glasses for the ﬁrst time. Lens and style compatibility Minimalist metal that is highly unobtrusive on the face. Ideal for rimless frames with polycarbonate and thinner lenses. See for yourself City, D&G, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Versace
Titanium Qualities Strongest material a frame can be made from. This ﬂexible 100% corrosion proof metal is a more affordable alternative to beta titanium. Appearance Pure titanium frames are the lightest available and great for achieving a minimalist look. This material lends itself easily to unique designs, colouration and oversized styles. Durability Titanium is as strong as steel, but has the beneﬁt of being much lighter with triple the lifespan. Although it’s less ﬂexible than beta, pure titanium has above average resistance to accidental mishandling, discolouration and corrosion. Lifestyle Athletic, Parent, Beachcomber, First time wearer Athletic Like beta titanium, this material offers enhanced comfort for long periods of wear by active and athletic people. Parent Titanium is more than capable of surviving the odd tug, knock and fall. Particularly useful for parents with boisterous kids! It is also easily adjustable and polishes well. Beachcomber For anyone living working or just visiting coastal areas, this material also has a high resistance to corrosion by outdoor elements like seawater. First time wearer Pure titanium offers a light and subtle look that is perfect for those not used to wearing glasses. Lens and style compatibility Although best suited to rimless frames, titanium can also be used for full and half rim (supra) frames. Thinner lenses like polycarbonate compliment this material. See for yourself Coco Cruz, D&G, Sexton Smith, Gucci, Eton Bridge
Stainless steel Qualities Lightweight, non-corrosive and hypoallergenic! Stainless steel is a 100% recyclable and more affordable alternative to titanium. Appearance Easily shaped into minimalist, ultra-thin frames and can be produced in matte or polished ďŹ nishes. Also available in a wide range of conservative tones like gunmetal, golden, brown, burgundy and black. Durability Stainless steel is one of the most commonly used metals for frames because of its strength and corrosion resistance. Frames made from this trusty material are hardwearing and easily adjustable. Lifestyle Conservative, Outdoor, Active Conservative Stainless steel frames offer a classic look, thatâ€™s easy and comfortable to wear. Outdoor For those with manual jobs like construction workers, or anyone who spends frequent periods of time outdoors, stainless steel also offers good resistance to wear and tear. Active Whether faced with a weather beating or the occasional knock, stainless steel frames are less likely to show signs of aging and stay smarter for longer. Lens and style compatibility Ideal for full rim and half rim (supra) frames and suited to most prescriptions, particularly lightweight lenses. See for yourself Coco Cruz, Oskar Levinski, Ray-Ban, Toko Hama
Memory metal Qualities Most bendable frame material on the market. This titanium alloy is also extremely lightweight and strong. Appearance Great for anyone looking for durability, ﬂexibility and a classic look. The arms of these frames are highly elastic and can be partially wrapped around your ﬁngers before popping back into their original shape when released. Durability Dubbed ‘memory’ metal because of its ability to bend and return to its original shape. But be warned, while these frames do have an incredible resistance to physical stress, they are not indestructible! Lifestyle Active, Parents, Children A wise choice for active people, parents, children, or anyone prone to the odd mishap and looking for peace of mind when purchasing frames. Active Abuse the bridge or arms of a memory metal frame by dropping or sitting on them and they are far less likely to snap or stay bent. Parent For parents, these frames are a wise investment as they are a lot easier to protect whether for personal use, or the kids. Children Memory metal’s ability to withstand some abuse ﬁts right in with the rough and tumble lifestyle of most children. Lens and style compatibility Adapts easily to any lens and adds stability to frames. For the full hard wearing package, choose polycarbonate lenses with ﬂexible memory metal frames, as they are more impact resistant and less likely to break. See for yourself Hugo Boss, Eton Bridge, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford
Aluminium Qualities As strong as steel, but only half the weight! Aluminium is a hard and highly corrosion resistant material that is also 100% recyclable and hypoallergenic. Appearance Aluminium frames can be painted with beautiful colours and ﬁnishes to create a distinct aesthetic. This lightweight material is often the inspiration for modern minimalist frames. Durability A hardwearing and trusty metal for any frame. Commercial aluminium contains small amounts of silicon and iron that make it hard and strong. Lifestyle Executive, Trendy, Green Executive Aluminium frames create a sleek look that is unobtrusive and sharpens any outﬁt. In business or formal situations aluminium frames can compliment a look that is professional, smart and stylish. Trendy Aluminium is popular with high-end eyewear designers because of the unique look and feel it creates. Frames are available in polished, brushed or colour anodized ﬁnishes that can make wearers stand out from the crowd. Green As a 100% recyclable material, aluminium is also fast becoming the ‘green’ choice and most sought after of all metal frames. This makes it more expensive than other varieties. Lens style and compatibility Ideal for thinner lenses, as the rigidity of aluminium can make it difﬁcult to ﬁt thicker bifocals and varifocals. Generally used for full rim frames. See for yourself Miu Miu, Eton Bridge, Oskar Levinski, Sexton Smith, Police
Plastic frames If youâ€™re looking for a colourful, lightweight or cost effective alternative to metal frames, plastic is ideal. As metalâ€™s more practical and popular rival, it is known primarily for its versatility and often more affordable price tag. Although easier to break and likely to age quicker than metal, the beauty of plastic is that it can be transformed with limitless variations on styling, colours and patterns. From fashionable, oversized designs to standard reading glasses and sunglasses, there is a plastic frame to suit every lifestyle.
Acetate Qualities The most commonly used plastic for frames and formally known as Zyl. It contains organic components including cotton and seed ﬁbre and is only slightly heavier than titanium, the lightest metal for frames. Appearance Glossy, colourful and highly suitable for modern geometric frame shapes that have a thicker and larger appearance. With endless colour, pattern and texture possibilities, acetate is the best plastic for achieving a distinctive look that deﬁnes the face. Durability Acetate is strong and long lasting, but will soften over time. However, metal wiring is typically embedded at the temples of acetate frames to make them perfectly rigid and easier to adjust. Lifestyle Creative Trendy, Active Creative This material is available in an almost inﬁnite number of colours and can be moulded to any shape or size. It is perfect for anyone looking to express individual style and personality through their glasses. Trendy Large and oversized shapes or opaque and laminated frames with layered colours are perfect for trendsetters and creatives who enjoy making a bold statement. Active For busy people who are always ‘on the go’, acetate frames are light and strong enough to be taken on and off without the constant fear of breaking them. Lens and style compatibility The thickness of acetate makes it ideal for full rim frames and bifocal lenses See for yourself Coco Cruz, Yves Saint Laurent, Funky Fred, Tom Ford
TR90 Qualities Ultra lightweight and ﬂexible. TR90 is a memory plastic that is long lasting and retains its shape well. Appearance A soft, fashionable material that is often moulded into sleek, sporty looking frames. Advanced colouring technology has made TR90 available in many colours and patterns. Durability This remarkably tough material has an extremely high bending strength and exceptional resistance to chemicals and UV damage. Lifestyle Sporty, Outdoor, Active, Parent Sporty TR90 frames offer extreme comfort during long periods of sports and leisure time. Outdoor Particularly fashionable in the high performance sportswear market where it is often combined with UV lenses ﬁt for skiing, sailing or other outdoor pursuits. Active This memory plastic offers a serious performance advantage during high octane activity and can be bent without breaking. Parent A ﬂexible and hardwearing material that fares well during sports, play and any activity involving physical contact. Lens and style compatibility Well suited to rimless and hingeless frames and thinner lenses See for yourself Funky Fred, D&G, Sexton Smith, Gucci, Toko Hama
Injection Qualities Most widely available form of plastic frames. Injection moulding is a process where molten hot plastic is injected into pre-made frame moulds at high pressure. When the plastic cools, it solidiﬁes and can be removed from the mould. Appearance This popular type of plastic frame is available in colours, shapes and styles to suit any occasion. Because of the wide variety of injection frames that are readily available, they make the perfect fashion statement. Durability Tough and highly ﬂexible memory plastic is commonly used in the injection moulding process. It allows several types and styles of frames to be made adjustable for the comfort of the wearer. Lifestyle Trendy, Active, Practical Trendy Injection frames are often found in highly accessible, budget fashion ranges because they can be made at a very reasonable speed, cost and price. Active Whether for reading, trendsetting, or casual wear, injection moulded plastic glasses often become the additional extra pair that you can’t live without. Practical Injection frames are the instantly available and affordable option for anyone in the market for a second pair of glasses. Lens and style compatibility Usually the ﬁrst choice for full rim frames, but moulds and materials can be designed to suit any lens and frame style. See for yourself Emilia Anne, Spanish Eyes, Funky Fred
Quick guide to frame materials Material
Flexible Hypoallergenic Lightweight Strong
Can be bent or dropped without losing shape.
Rimless, spring hinges and thinner lenses like polycarbonate
Flexible Hypoallergenic Lightweight Non-corrosive
Strongest material a frame can be made from.
Rimless and thinner lenses like polycarbonate
Hypoallergenic Lightweight Non-corrosive 100% recyclable
Strong, hard wearing and easily adjustable
Full rim, half rim (supra) frames.
Flexible Extremely lightweight Strong
The most bendable frame material available
Adaptable to any lens and frame shape
Hypoallergenic Non-corrosive 100% recyclable
As strong as steel but half the weight
Thinner lenses full rim frames
Lightweight Organic components
Strong, but softens over time so requires metal reinforcement
Full rim and thicker lenses like bifocals
Ultra lightweight Long lasting Bendable
Remarkably tough with exceptional resistance to chemicals and UV damage
Rimless and hinge less frames with thinner lenses
Lightweight Strong Inexpensive
Strong but not scratchproof
Full rim and thicker lenses like bifocals
Suited to most prescriptions
Frame selection checklist 1. Frame material should always be chosen to suit your lifestyle and activities. 2. Frame should be wide enough for the temples to just clear the sides of your head. 3. Top of the frame should follow your brow line and never be noticeably higher or lower. 4. Size and weight of your glasses should be in proportion to your body size and weight. 5. Your eyes should be centered in the lenses, regardless of the frame shape.