Everything You Need to Know About the Different Types of Eyewear Materials

Have you ever wondered what your glasses were made of? While the most popular materials used for constructing eyewear are metal and plastic, there is a variety of other types each with their own unique features and benefits. For example, a material called Ultem features hypoallergenic properties and is perfect for someone with sensitive skin.  Zyloware is here to break down the differences between various composite materials and formulas that make up our frames and provide education on what eyewear materials will work the best for you.


Zyl eyeglass frames

Zyl is the most common plastic frame material because it can assume a large array of colors, textures and patterns. Temples and frame fronts can be cut from blocks of zyl extruded as a sheet of block acetate. Or, granular zyl can be liquefied and then injection molded. With daily use in warm temperatures, zyl can shift and lose its form. Sometimes metal cores are added in the temples in order to strengthen and stabilize the frame.

Fun Fact: Block-cut zyl is stronger and more stable!

zyl VS Salvatora_710

You can find zyl frame glasses in all of the Zyloware Eyewear Collections. Featuring Via Spiga Salvatora in Berry Fade


Monel eyeglass frames

Monel is composed of about two-thirds nickel and one-third copper. This highly ductile alloy can be hammered into a variety of different shapes without losing strength. Monel colors well, is corrosion resistant, and durable.

Best Used: to stabilize frame bridges and endpieces.


Monel can be found in a handful of Zyloware frames, including Sophia Loren M283 in Lavender


Titanium eyeglass frames

Titanium is extremely lightweight, strong, flexible and will not rust – making it a very popular and relatively new material for eyeglass frames.

Fun Fact: Frames that are 100% titanium are also “hypoallergenic” – they do not contain any nickel!


Enjoy the benefits of titanium frames with Stetson T-513 in Brown


Stainless steel eyeglass frames

Stainless steel is comprised mostly of iron, with a mixture of nickel, manganese, and chromium. Stainless steel is highly lustrous, and makes a good thin and sturdy eyeglass frame with strong corrosion resistance. Stainless steel temples are especially springy.


You can find stainless steel frames in the Randy Jackson Collection, Invincilites Collection, Maxstudio.com and the Via Spiga Collection. Featuring Maxstudio.com 158M in Slate


Nickel silver eyeglass frames

Sometimes called “Alpaca” or “German Silver”, nickel silver is rigid compared to other more malleable metals. Nickel silvers contain more than 50% copper, 25% nickel, and the rest zinc, no silver at all!

Best Used For: hinges, endpieces, bridges, ornamental trims, and inner core for temples.


Shown: Nickel/silver hinges on Daisy Fuentes style Inga in Black.


Memory Metal eyeglass frames

Memory Metal is a trade name for flexible frame material used in order to reduce breakage. It is normally found in the shaft of the temple and in the bridge, and it allows these areas to endure tremendous twisting without breakage or permanent distortion of the frame’s shape.

memory metal ST ZF 719_021.jpgYou can find these frames in the Stetson Zylo-Flex Collection and Shaquille O’Neal Squad Collection. Featuring Stetson ZF 719 in Black


TR-90 Thermoplastic

Durable, flexible, and comfort are just a few words to describe TR-90 Thermoplastic frames. These frames are made to last the toughest falls.

You can find these types of frames in the Shaquille O’Neal Collection, Gloria by Gloria Vanderbilt Collection, and Stetson Slims Collection. Featuring Shaquille O’Neal 119Z in Navy/Green



Ultem Frame

Incredibly lightweight and flexible, Ultem glasses are exactly what you’re looking for. Highly heat-resistant with anti-glare lenses, Ultem frames are hard to beat! This versatile material is even hypoallergenic, which makes it perfect for wearers with sensitive skin!

You can only find these frames in our LiteForms Collection.



Check out the rest of the collection here, or to find out more information about frequently asked questions click here!

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