This past weekend, as we were driving across the Brooklyn Bridge like the hundreds of times before, a sudden thought popped into my head. How in the world was this bridge constructed? Of all the times I have crossed this bridge, it never occurred to me to ask this question. It was just you know…there, taking me where I wanted to go. This time, my curiosity got the better of me and I looked it up once I got home. I found out that this iconic bridge was built back on Jan 3rd. 1870. That completely blew my mind! I spent the rest of the afternoon reading about the incredible feats that it took to create this landmark. What I came to realize was that taking the time to understand how things are made gives us a fresh perspective and appreciation for everyday things in our lives.
While not quite on the same scale, I had the same epiphany about sunglasses. I’ve certainly shopped for and purchased countless pairs of sunglasses over time, but never wondered how they were made. That all changed when we had our child, which inspired us to begin the development process for our line of handcrafted acetate children's sunglasses. Read about our story. The process opened my eyes to the complexity and craftsmanship needed to make a pair of sunglasses that fit well on my little one's face.
As an inspiration from my Brooklyn Bridge experience, we wanted to give you a little glimpse into the steps needed to create a pair of children’s sunglasses. We hope it will give you a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve with this collection.
The overall production process is typically broken into 4 major steps: Design, Cutting, Milling & Polishing and Assembly.
Phase 1: Design
As with all good products, we spent a lot of time with our designer reviewing acetate chips and coming up with unique color combinations. Once done, we went through multiple rounds of prototypes and tried them on kids to make sure we got the right sizing and fit! With each round, we fine-tuned the technical design files until the blueprint for our product was optimized for all those cute little faces we had in mind.
Phase 2: Cutting
With the technical drawing as our guide, the team was ready to start production. The operators use various heavy machinery to cut out all the various components of the sunglasses. The frame is first cut from an acetate block with a routing machine to get the rough shape for the front of the frame.
An operator then uses another routing machine to polish the outer and inner edges of the frame so that it has a smoother finish.
Phase 3: Polishing & Milling
Once the components are made, it is time to give the acetate frames their impeccable glass-like finish. To make that happen, the frames are tumbled like butter in a huge barrel with a mix of wood chips and small stones. Doing so for 12 hours gives each of our frames a long-lasting luster.
Due to the intricate nature of the temples, temples are hand-polished to give it a nice smooth finish.
Phase 4: Assembling and Final Polishing
In the final stage, the technicians take the finished components and start assembling. The temples and the frame fronts are hand-assembled with German OBE 5 barrel Flex Uno spring hinges. With regular sunglasses, the screws holding the hinge loosen over time. To ensure that this does not happen, we used rubber-tipped screws so that it is locked into the hinge.
Once the sunglasses are fully assembled, each product goes through a final inspection and finishing at the polishing wheel to ensure an impeccable finish.
We hope this gives you a better understanding of how Toucca Kids sunglasses are made and hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed developing them.