Welcome back to Materials Matter! An icon. A classic. We're talking about acetate again today.
We posted recently all about acetate and the initial steps for creating the acetate you see on spectacles. Now it's time to discuss how diverse the material truly is, and how our favourite brands manipulate the material. As mentioned before, not all acetate is created equal. You have factories such as Mazzucchelli who Niche uses for making all of their own acetate, while you do also have other acetate manufacturers who blend their components differently to create a different grade of acetate.
Acetate quality essentially works on a sliding scale; you get some acetate which is more natural and hypoallergenic thanks to the high cotton cellulose content, while you get others which contain more plasticisers and have a different finish and feel. We only offer eyewear which is high quality and
Part of the joy in acetate is the diversity of the material. You will find some brands curve and distort acetate into new structural shapes while others focus more on classic shapes, but emphasis finding the right size and fit for the individual. Acetate provides the base for many of these designers, but each is creative with their individual use of it. This creativity is what allows acetate frames to be incredibly diverse in appearance, and is the reason why we stock so many independent brands.
One of the highest quality and exceptional acetate loving brands would be Jacques Marie Mage. Using specialist Japanese acetate reserved exclusively for Jacques Marie Mage, they are true leaders in the eyewear field. With many pieces being made from 10-12mm acetate, each frame is numbered and limited edition. It's a combination of the acetate thickness and the quality itself which makes Jacques Marie Mage truly stand out for many people.
An equally perfectionist brand would be Res Rei. With every frame being lovingly made by a small independent team in rural Italy, Res Rei are a brand truly in love with their craft. Every acetate colour is custom for Res Rei and exclusive to them, while they also put a strong emphasis on the actual engineering of their frames. Each frame has perfect weight distribution, making them exceptionally comfortable.
What about experimental design with acetate? As a smooth, easy to shape material, acetate can be stretched and moulded into any feasible shape. This can be bold and loud in design, or subtly avant-garde. Factory 900 are pioneers in experimenting with acetate to create new structures in eyewear. Whether it be their multi-lensed masks or the subtle outward curl of their frame fronts, each piece needs to be seen in real life to fully understand.
We highly recommend viewing each of these brands to see how unique their designs are. Let us know if you have a favourite, and how you would love to see acetate develop.