Have you ever wondered what your glasses are made of? While the most popular materials used to construct eyewear are metal and plastic, there is a variety of others, each with their own unique features and benefits. For example, the material Ultem has hypoallergenic properties – perfect for wearers with sensitive skin. Let’s break down the differences between various composite materials and formulas that make up our frames to help you decide what eyewear materials are best for you.


Zyl is the most common plastic frame material, because it can assume a wide array of colors, textures and patterns. Temples and frame fronts can be cut from blocks of zyl, extruded as a sheet of block acetate. Additionally, 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 to strengthen and stabilize the frame.

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

VS Valtina_Red

You can find zyl frame glasses in all of the Zyloware Eyewear Collections. Featuring Via Spiga Valtina in Red



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

Best Used: To stabilize frame bridges and endpieces.

SL M293_Blush_ 019

Monel can be found in a handful of Zyloware frames, including Sophia Loren M293 in Blush



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

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

STUDIO 165M_Brown_183

You can find stainless steel frames in the Randy Jackson Collection, Invincilites Collection, Maxstudio.com and the Via Spiga Collection. Featuring Maxstudio.com 165M in Brown


Nickel Silver

Sometimes called “Alpaca” or “German Silver,” nickel silver is rigid compared to other  metals. Nickel silvers actually contain 50%+ copper, 25% nickel, with the rest zinc. No silver at all!

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

DF Zoila_Brown.eps

Shown: Nickel silver hinges on Daisy Fuentes style Zoila in Brown


Memory Metal

Memory Metal is the trade name for flexible frame material used to reduce breakage. It is normally found in the shaft of the temple and the bridge, allowing these areas to endure tremendous twisting without breaking or permanently distorting.

ST ZF 721_058

You can find these frames in the Stetson Zylo-Flex Collection and Shaquille O’Neal Squad Collection. Featuring Stetson ZF 721 in Gunmetal


TR-90 Thermoplastic

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

QD 152Z_Blk Grey_326

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 152Z in Black Grey


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

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