Acetate is a cellulosic material, which is related to rayon. It’s a semi-synthetic material, where the base material is derived from plants. Here are Trovelle, we like to think of Acetate as the organic cotton of eyewear. It is processed in industrial facilities and molded into a plastic-like substance that can be formed into glasses frames. Most eyewear acetate is sourced from Italy. Acetate is widely used in making eyeglasses, and sunglasses frames.
Acetate is used by designer eyewear companies all over the world. You can easily bend it with the right amount of pressure and sometimes low heat is utilized to make bending much easier. It is also known for its beautiful glossy surface and wonderful color combinations. These characteristics are not found in plastic and other materials. Acetate can be easily colored with organic pigments.
Acetate is cut into small chips and placed into a mold and pressed together. In about 24 hours, the chips fuse together to form a block. These blocks are then fed to a CNC machine to make the frames. The manufacturing process of Acetate is a labor intensive process.
Here is a video showcasing Tom Ford Eyewear design and manufacturing process.