When purchasing eyewear there are many things to consider. Size, style, colour and comfort just to name a few. The materials the frames are made from have a huge impact on not only the design, but also the fit and weight of the frame. Today we are going to take a quick look at the benefits of titanium in frame design, vs other metal options.
The most common metal frame materials across the industry are titanium, nickel alloy, stainless steel, zinc, copper, beryllium, silver and gold. The easiest ones to find in store are Nickel alloy and titanium. Copper, Gold and Silver frames are not as easily sourced, due to their price. Beryllium frames are lightweight and fairly erosion-proof, however have large limitations on design. Stainless steel frames are definitely around but have many colour limitations so are not exactly ‘fashionable’ a lot of the time. And zinc….I’ve never actually found or sold a zinc frame!
Nickel alloy frames are easily the most popular. Not because customers look for them specifically, but because they are the most affordable and easily sourced. There are hardly any design or colour restrictions, it works well with most lens styles and can be adjusted to fit different faces easily, without damaging the design – provided the Optical dispenser knows what they are doing 😉 So why the focus on Titanium?
There are two main reasons people search specifically for Titanium frames:
- Titanium is a lighter weight material, great for people with sensitivity issues on their nose
- Anyone that has a nickel allergy – Titanium is hypo-allergenic.
While there are some limitations on Titanium as a material in terms of design, if you’re after a minimalist classic look you will find a lot to choose from. Designers are branching out with it as a material these days too, trying to push the traditional limits to create interesting pieces made in a more ‘skin’ friendly’ material.
Titanium frames are also recommended for anyone working in environments that are likely to make metals rust, as titanium doesn’t corrode.
Of course, being a more premium material, titanium is more expensive than a nickel alloy, although in most cases you will find the warranty on them is longer as well. If you’re allergic to nickel but prefer a minimalist look with your eyewear, I suggest investigating your options thoroughly. Even in the last 12 months I have come across many new brands specialising in titanium ‘fashion’ collections, that are absolutely beautiful.
As always, when investigating eyewear always ask questions. In independent practices, there is a reason why the prices for frames are what they are, the higher prices are usually determined by the handwork, details and also higher quality materials in each design.
The Eyewear Girl x