Will acetate frames discolour over time?

Acetate, hailed for its versatility and style in eyewear, has become a staple material in the production of premium frames. However, like all things, acetate frames are not impervious to the test of time. One concern users often have is whether these frames will discolour as they age. Here’s the truth about the longevity of acetate’s vibrant hues.


1. What is Acetate?

Acetate is a high-quality type of plastic derived from renewable resources like wood pulp and natural cotton fibres. Its rich colours, flexibility, and hypoallergenic properties have made it popular in the eyewear industry.

2. The Reality of Discolouration

Indeed, acetate frames can discolour over time due to various factors:

  • Exposure to Sunlight: Just as prolonged sun exposure can fade the colours of fabrics, it can also affect the hue of acetate frames.
  • Skin Oils and Makeup: Continuous exposure to the natural oils from our skin or residues from cosmetics can sometimes alter the frame’s colour, especially on the parts that touch the face directly.
  • Environmental Factors: Extremes in temperature, high humidity, or exposure to certain chemicals can impact the colour integrity of acetate frames.

3. Quality Matters

Not all acetate frames are created equal.

  • Higher Quality Acetate: Premium acetate frames are less prone to discolour because of the superior materials and craftsmanship employed in their production.
  • Thickness and Colour Depth: Thicker frames and those with deeper saturation tend to retain their colour better over time.

4. Caring for Acetate Frames

A few precautionary measures can go a long way in preserving the colour of your frames:

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your frames gently using a mild soap and water solution, wiping them with a soft microfiber cloth.
  • Storage: Store your glasses in a protective case away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.
  • Avoid Chemicals: Keep your frames away from strong chemicals or solvents which can break down the acetate and cause discolouration.


While acetate frames can potentially discolour over extended periods, with proper care and attention, they can remain vibrant and stylish for many years. By understanding the nature of acetate and practising preventive care, you can enjoy the aesthetic appeal of your frames for a long time.


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