Frames: From Design to Finish
In this story, many different professionals are the protagonists, who meet each other with their respective expertise: creative collectors, LKLOOK™ Eyewear design group, materials research department and technical and prototyping department, and production artisans.
Above all, this is a story of creativity, quality, excellence and passion. Because, from the actual idea to the final realization, all the elements have been meticulously processed to produce sought-after fashion eyewear that the whole world admires.
In the early creative stages of new eyewear fashion development, the common goal of ELKLOOK™ Eyewear design group and production teams is to draw inspiration from all over the world to create cutting-edge results that capture the latest trends of eyewear for men and women and deliver them in an always innovative way. We focus on humanities, fashion, architecture, design, sports, entertainment and then start to come up with ideas.
The design phase is extremely important to achieve results that reflect ELKLOOK™ Eyewear's signature style and product attitude. The entire process took place in close collaboration between the eyewear design group and the production team, who drafted every possible mockup and then elaborated the final sketches according to the style and visual language the idea was to convey. Then we got a result that perfectly expresses our great brand philosophy and attitude.
After completing the design drawings, the prototyping phase begins. For each new eyeglasses and sunglasses, the prototyping team produces a physical eyewear and, by doing so, outlines the first eyewear frame. Craftsmen treat details with extreme precision right from this stage. Then, once the prototype gets final approval from all teams, detailed technical drawings are arranged. These team members are masters and are the guidelines for basic quality control throughout the certified production process.
The size and thickness of the acetate sheets vary according to the specific needs of each eyewear frame. The materials used for the frame range from monel to nickel to steel.
To achieve an unusual effect, ELKLOOK has used selected and unusual materials such as wood, synthetic diamonds and leather for the decorative elements. Lenses can be CR39, nylon or crystal. They are cut and installed in dedicated departments and available in a variety of color, thickness and finish options, an advantage we have always highlighted. Lenses are the body armor for the eyes.
The manufacture of a pair of the best glasses involves nearly a hundred different stages and skilled hand work to ensure the material and perform quality control through each production step.
The life cycle of a metal glasses frame depends on the raw material: simple metal wire formed in a specific winding machine. Then, at various stages, the front plate is manually welded to other metal parts, such as the rims that hold the lenses, the arms, and the brackets that hold the nose pads. The glasses frame of each pair of glasses is assembled piece by piece. After this, these first components are ready for the rollover phase. The metal surface is polished and then tinted using electroplating and protective treatments or paint to achieve the desired color and effect.
Initially, the acetate glasses frame was made into acetate panels of different thicknesses, colors and compositions. These sheets are cut into strips for making rods, and smaller strips to make fronts, before special machines are used to adjust them to the necessary thickness. The next stage involves sending the acetate tape to the CNC department, where the front faces are milled into various shapes and sizes using precision machinery.
The next stages are mostly manual. Technicians with experience at all stages apply continuous temperature changes to materials through manual and mechanical processes to customize eyewear. The semifinished eyewear is now ready for the tumbling process. This process is the basis for obtaining a high-quality finished product. The processing of acetate front panels for eyeglasses and sunglasses consists of four separate stages, using special machines to mix together small pieces of birch and beech wood, buffing oil and grinding powder to obtain a good polished shape and shine veneer surface.
The strips for the temples are shaped into the desired shape and arranged to be sent to the next stage, which consists of inserting the metal core inside the acetate formwork. A specialized machine heats the metal to very high temperatures, guaranteeing a perfect insertion into the acetate. After inserting the metal core, the temples are customized according to the design project. This customization is done by milling using a CNC machine and then applying details such as logos or characteristic elements. The final stage takes place entirely within the ELKLOOK production plant. After the temples are cleaned and polished during the tumble process, they are ready to be assembled with the front panel. In the final stage, the temples and front are milled with a semi-automatic machine and are ready to be assembled together.
Specially trained technicians smooth the two elements with emery cloth to achieve the perfect bond of metal and acetate. At this point, the frames are ready for the cleaning and polishing phase, during which they are hand-treated with a special slurry and mirror-finished through a fabric disc.