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.
The clarity or sharpness of vision provided by various lens materials and/or coatings.
Consists of polymers of acrylic acid or acrylates. Sunglass frames can be made from this.
A light and soft metal with high processability in production. While 40% lighter than titanium, it is inferior in terms of strength and corrosion resistance. Used for many years in the manufacturing of temples.
Recognized as effectively improving acuity in scattered blue lighting conditions caused by haze, smog or fog. Offering an enhanced clarity in high glare conditions; these are a popular choice for activities such as boating, skiing, and driving.
Anti-Reflective Coating (AR)
An optical coating typically applied to the lens surface of eyewear, in an effort to reduce reflection.
Also referred to as the Temple; this piece attaches to the frame and stretches behind the wearer’s ears, holding sunglasses in place.
A frame shape used by the US air force that has become an eyewear icon.
Applied to back of polycarbonate lenses to prevent scratching.
A common hinge connecting the temple and the frame of sunglasses.
Defined in sunglass terminology as being the amount of curve found in any sunglass frame. A California Classics style has a low base curve; while sports styles typically have a high base curve and are commonly referred to as wrap-around sunglasses.
Dyes introduced during lens making process to establish lens coloring.
Space between sunglass lenses, extending across/over the wearer’s nose. Designed to support a majority of frame weight.
Also referred to as an Amber Lens, this lens color is believed to enhance clarity, lessen glare and best for outdoor activities.
A common term used to identify carbon fiber reinforced polymer, known for its strength-to-weight ratio. i.e., highly durable & lightweight.
A manufacturing process mainly used to create end pieces or ornamental parts. A processing method in which beryllium copper or titanium is melted then cooled in a mold to form the parts.
A retro frame style in which the outer edges of the almond shaped lenses are upswept. Also called the 'Monroe style' as the style was recognizably worn by Marilyn Monroe in a film.
Referring to a lens that has no coloring or tinting. Can (and should) provide 100% UV Protection.
A treatment applied to the surface of your lens to add functional protection.
- Anti-Reflective (AR)- eliminates reflections from front and back of lens to block glare.
- Hydrophobic- repels water, sweat and reduces spotting on lens surface.
- Scratch Resistant- protects lenses from abrasions and scratches with a resin film
A coating applied to outside lens that appears mirrored with various color tints, such as blue, gold, red, green or purple.
Colored Transparent Frame
A type of frame color that is semi-transparent with a color tint.
Refers to the uniform tinting of lenses, an alternative to gradient tinting.
The varying degrees of tones and values in eyesight. Lens colors will directly affect the wearer’s perception of contrast; which can improve or diminish vision acuity dependent upon lighting conditions.
The wire frame inside of acetate temples. Some styles show off this underpinning in a clear acetate.
A two-piece bridge design that adds stability and classic design.
Refers to a lens, which possesses a tint across both top & bottom while having a light tint through the middle.
A very light aluminum alloy, inferior to titanium in strength and corrosion resistance, but lighter in weight.
Typically a plastic or rubber coating or sleeve that resides along the length of the temple resting on the wearer’s ear. Most commonly seen on sunglasses with a metal or wireframe or temple.
Residing on the outer sides of the frame surrounding the lenses, this portion of the frame is used to attach the temples to the front part of the sunglass frame.
Tiredness or fatigue of the eyes, which can be avoided or drastically minimized with appropriate colored lenses.
The piece that holds the lens in place. It varies dramatically from one from to another.
Flash Mirror Coating
Another term for a standard mirror lens coating applied to lenses, typically in silver, blue or gold.
The portion of sunglasses that lenses rest within, which temples are attached to via end pieces and/or hinges.
Extends behind the ear, holding sunglasses in place while being worn.
Part of the sunglass frame in which lenses are inserted.
Referring to a sunglass style that possesses an entirely enclosed lens.
Can be caused by a direct or reflected light source, causing difficulty seeing.
Provides a transitioning lens tint quality, typically darker above, and lighter below.
A neutral tone believed to provide the truest colors and is an all-purpose tint. Believed to provide the highest level of glare resistance, while not enhancing contrast.
Known to provide increased contrast in low light situations, while minimizing eyestrain in bright light. Minimal blue light is filtered by green lenses.
Referring to eyewear that possesses only the upper portion of a frame rim. Typically found with wireframe eyewear.
Refers to a style of sunglasses case which has a hard outer shell, frequently 'snap' close upon placing pressure on the lid.
Applied to lenses to increase resistance from scratching and/or breakage.
The open & close part of the frame that connects the rim to the temples.
- Flex Hinges- uses an internal spring to give you extra durability with greater flexibility.
- Light Ray Hinges- are made of ultra-flexible and resilient titanium.
- Mono-Block Hinges- are made from a single block of metal so there’s less chance of breakage.
- Pinless Front Hinges- made of nickel-silver are used in acetate or nylon frames.
- Rivet Hinges are fixed to the front or temples using rivets inserted into the hinges’ twin holes to create a vintage look.
Achieved by applying a special coating to the lens that will repel moisture and prevent spotting of the lens.
Standard for determining the ability of any material to withstand impact without chipping, shattering, fracturing or breaking.
Built into the temple of the sunglasses, operates similarly to a barrel hinge. Will appear like a small pin screwed into the frame.
Common component when making mirror coatings.
Part of eyewear that you see through.
- Glass- used to be the material of choice but has been replaced by lightweight, durable high-tech plastics that offer optimum clarity.
- Polycarbonate- is a type of high-index plastic thatís thinner, lighter and impact resistant.
- HD- is a digital lens that provides the highest level of detail and clarity, especially in high index prescriptions.
Refers to the density and shading of lenses.
A metal alloy used for frames thatís usually made from titanium and nickel. It keeps its shape while offering a fit thatís lightweight, strong and comfortable.
Refers to a frame made of metal or wire, common among many aviator styles of sunglasses. Metal frames include sleek silver, nickel, bronze, titanium, or steel. They can be painted or finished with a coating for a matte or brushed effect.
A material commonly used as a cleaning cloth for lenses as well as storage bags with draw-string closures for sunglasses.
A lens coating which makes the lens reflective like a mirror. By reducing the amount of sunlight that passes through the lens, glare is limited; as such, this coating is often used for sports sunglasses.
An alloy of nickel and zinc. It is more rigid than other mixed metals and is often used in eyewear for hinges, earpieces, and bridges.
Present on many styles of sunglasses refers to an oval plastic piece attached to Pad Arm designed to enhance comfort and support weight of the frame.
A lightweight and resilient alternative to acetate frames that comes in a wide array of colors and styles.
The arm piece connecting the front piece and the nose pad. It can be adjusted to position the frame.
A piece of material extending from the frame rim used to attach the nose pad, capable of providing a customized fit for the wearer.
The ability to undergo a reversible change in color (or shade) when exposed to specific frequencies or intensity of light, allowing the effect to only occur in sunlight rather than artificial light. Often applied to lenses, however, after long-term exposure to intense sunlight, the darkening effect will become irreversible.
The ability to restrict and reflect specific frequencies of light rays.
Sunglasses treated with a coating that filters out horizontally reflected glare to give you sharper details, enhanced colors, and enhanced depth perception.
A notoriously resilient plastic created by various carbonate groups. Classified as a synthetic resin. Commonly used to manufacture lenses due to its scratch resistant, lightweight qualities.
Precision Laser Welding
A welding technique which utilizes laser energy. Far more precise than conventional welding, it joins parts without damaging the material. It provides a much stronger weld, and allows for the most delicate of pieces to be connected.
Refers to the level of UV eye protection in sunglasses. Always choose lenses that are rated UV400 or higher which means theyíll block 99.9% of UV rays.
Caused by reflected light sources, generally generating a much stronger, and more damaging glare than the originating source. (i.e., sunlight reflected off of water will cause more damage to the eyes than the original light waves.)
RETRO is a vintage look characterized by rounded shapes, rivets, and etched metal or coin edge tooling.
Refers to a mirrored coating that reflects a coloring. I.e., red revo, blue revo, gold revo.
The part of the frame responsible for holding the lens. It also determines the shape of the lens.
Referring to sunglasses that have only a partial frame rim into which lenses are inserted.
Similar to brown and amber lenses, in that it effectively scatters blue light and enhances contrast.
This is a term used to identify the ability of a material to withstand scuffs and abrasions. Can be a Coating applied to lenses, or a quality possessed by materials used as lenses.
Synonymous with half-rim and rimless; referring to a frame style that forms only the upper portion of the frame rim, common with wireframe styles.
Another term for the Temple of sunglasses, which extend over and behind the wearer’s ears.
Common reference to the shading applied to the lens to darken/absorb light rays.
Refers to sunglass cases made of flexible materials. Available in numerous types of materials, patterns and sizes.
A high-quality hinge alternative that provides added comfort and durability. Functions in a manner allowing the joint more flexibility.
Common frame piece in metal sunglasses used to connect the lenses.
An accessory for sunglasses that attaches to the temple-tips, used to allow sunglasses to rest around the wearer's neck. Can be found in useful floating materials, which will prevent losing sunglasses in bodies of water.
Piece of sunglasses extending behind the ears, enabling them to stay in place.
Made of soft rubber or plastic and applied to the tip of the temple for added comfort, also assists in keeping sunglasses in place while worn.
Portion of frame that joins lenses.
A sunglass frame that is clear plastic, often used in combination with a color cast. Also called Translucent Frames.
Ultraviolet Rays (UV)
Harmful rays of the sun, consisting of UVA, UVB & UVC. Whereas UVC is absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer, both UVA & UVB are harmful to the eyes and after prolonged exposure are believed to lead to numerous health conditions.
Can be applied as a lens coating, or embedded into the lens; successfully blocking all UV rays.
A sunglass accessory used to attach sunglasses to vehicle visors for easy storage and reach.
Dramatically enhances depth perception and perception in low light conditions. Frequently used for driving glasses.