Injection vs. acetate - what's the difference?

Wed, May 20, 2020

As you’ve been browsing through our website, you might have noticed that we have various types of sunglasses made out of different types of material. And you may have found yourself wondering what exactly the differences are between our different models and their respective materials. Well, we're here to explain!

Metal vs. Injection vs. Acetate

SHACKLETON, for example, has a metal frame with an acetate trim around the lenses and on the tips of each temple (the "arms"). Models such as NEW DEPP and LIV are handcrafted out of acetate in various colorways. And then there are HOBBES and MAKALU, which are made out of a material called Swiss TR90 and are two of our injection models.

MessyWeekend SHACKLETON Silver

SHACKLETON Silver 

What exactly is the difference between injection and acetate sunglasses? 

Injections sunglasses are named so because they are made by injecting the liquified Swiss TR90 material into a mold. 

Acetate is actually called cellulose acetate and is a plant-based plastic—yes, plastic. However, cellulose acetate is a non-petroleum-based plastic that is made from wood fibers and natural cotton, meaning that it is made from renewable resources. 

Okay, yeah, that’s pretty cool. But you say that they are handcrafted. What’s that all about?

Yes, our acetate sunglasses are all handcrafted. Basically what happens is we start out with a large block consisting of layers upon layers of acetate. Then we carefully slice the individual parts, hand polish them, and assemble the frame into its beautiful entirety.

What else do we need to know about injection vs. acetate?

Well, there are a couple of differences between the two types of sunglasses that might influence which one you purchase or when you wear them. For example, injection sunglasses are incredibly lightweight and super durable. That means a pair like HOBBES is the perfect pair to wear when being active or to music festivals, raves—you know, living that Messy lifestyle. However, due to the method by which they are made, they cannot be adjusted.

HOBBES Army

HOBBES Army

Acetate sunglasses, on the other hand, are a bit heavier, but they can be made in some beautiful patterns and colors, and they can be adjusted to suit each individual wearer. As we discussed above, acetate sunglasses are essentially carved out of a block of layers upon layers of acetate. This process is why each of our acetate models such as DEPP Snow Leopard and NEW DEPP Tortoise is unique. No two pairs are the same!

MessyWeekend NEW DEPP Tortoise

NEW DEPP Tortoise

Acetate is also super flexible, so you can very easily shape the tips of the temples (arms) to make them fit better. There are two ways to do this, which you can read about here.

Well, that’s pretty much it!