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Product Series #1: Acetate

Product Series #1: Acetate
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What is Acetate and why should you care?

by Connor Child

Mose Martin’s central focus is to offer beautiful luxury eyewear at a price that doesn't require you to take out a second mortgage. Our frames are made from the same materials and with the same process as the $500+ brands. And in some cases….our frames are made to an even higher standard than some of these brands (seriously.)

And to detail how this is, we’ll be dedicating the next few blog posts to educate you, the savvy consumer, on what goes into our product, and why you should care.

And today we’re going to start with the building block of (most) of the Mose Martin frames - Acetate.

Hypoallergenic, strong and made from sustainable resources (cotton), Acetate is one the most beautiful materials to grace this green earth and is the primary material used to create Mose Martin frames.

Let’s break this down and start out with something that only a chemist could love:

What we’re looking at here is the ball-and-stick model of the acetate anion. A chemist views this and sees a molecular model of a chemical substance. She may even notice how the three hydrogen atoms, two carbon atoms, and two oxygen atoms connect to make a chemical formula of C2H3O2−.

You may look at this and see a multi-colored balloon animal.

Regardless of what you see or don’t see, here’s what you need to know – this is the building block of one of the most powerful substances used in the eyewear industry. When you hear the word “acetate,” this refers to the plant-based, hypoallergenic plastic used to make quality frames. And it traces its roots back to the beautiful chemical formula mentioned above.

To put simply, acetate is a different kind of plastic. A refined form of plastic that has endless possibilities with color and detailing. Here are a few reasons why we make our frames with acetate:


There may be someone out there who gets some cheap thrill out of hearing the bridge snap on a pair of sunglasses. We can’t completely rule this out as a possibility. But… that person probably isn’t you.

The process of cutting, forming, and polishing multiple sheets of plastic to make acetate gives it a unique strength that conventional plastic can’t match. The bridges and frames that surround the lenses possess a flexibility that leaves them far less likely to break, and so you won’t have to scramble for a replacement pair while you’re out on the road or on vacation. Our frames are meant to be lived in and withstand the rigors of daily wear.


When you put something over your eyes and on top of your ears for hours in a day, it better not leave you with soreness, headaches, and an overall negative outlook on life. The lightweight design of acetate glasses will have them resting on your face as if they were meant to be there all along.


For the uninitiated; there is a ‘Friends’ episode where Monica gets these crazy expensive boots that she just had to have. Apparently they looked great on her, and so she spent a substantial sum to buy them even though they ended up being extremely painful. The message was clear: good looking things aren’t comfortable.

Well, this minor story arc from a show that went off the air more than a decade ago isn’t gospel. There doesn’t always have to be a tradeoff between style and comfort. Quite the opposite, in fact, when it comes to acetate frames. Since they are carved out of rich colored blocks and layered with multiple sheets of colors, it leaves them with a much richer and more dynamic design than with conventional plastic frames where the colors and patterns are sprayed or painted over the top. In short - the possibilities of colors and design detailing are endless with Acetate. The process of coloring and detailing an acetate is called ‘curing’ and can take months (and even years…) to achieve the rich, deep texture properties that make a pair of frames truly unique and beautiful.


Bonus fact: If you’re a fan of Christopher Nolan, you know he shoots (most of) his movies using actual film. This film is made of acetate.

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