The unique, beautiful patterns of buffalo horn give our frames an exotic look. As beautiful as horn is, it also has a rich history of use in daily life.
For thousands of years, people have taken the horn from Asian water buffalo and crafted it into tools, dishes and delicate jewelry. Cultures placed a huge emphasis on the importance of using an entire animal. These buffalo have been domesticated for use on farms and are valuable to the people of Southeast Asia.
In our previous post, we provided an overview of why real horn glasses are both expensive and quite rare. Today, we’ll talk about how we were able to source such a beautiful collection of horn glasses.
One of our goals at Penn Avenue Eyewear is to provide unique frame materials at amazing prices, without sacrificing quality. Introducing a line of horn eyewear has been a goal from the onset of our business.
Our process in selecting a supplier involved meeting with specialty frame manufacturers at optical shows in Paris and Hong Kong. As luck would have it, the supply partner we selected is one of the existing suppliers for our sister company, Eyenavision. After a design session in Hong Kong in November of last year, we were ready to move forward with production of our first horn collection.
We were able to establish six classic designs, each made in horn colors ranging from light blonde to onyx. Almost all of the frames are mixed in color, with designs that range from symmetrical to random. Each frame is polished to a shine. We specified heavy duty spring hinges which only add to the comfort and fit.
Blitzer in Bold
We introduced our horn frames earlier this year at optical trade shows in Austin, TX, Atlanta and Vision Expo East in New York. The reception was amazing. We sold out of our initial production run, and fortunately, we had a second run on order. With this latest production run, we are launching the collection on our online site and making it available to you! We could not be happier with the quality and we are looking forward to providing you with high-end glasses.
In our next blog post, we will further discuss our horn collection including how to care for your horn frames.
When you receive your horn eyewear, you will notice that it is polished to a shine. However, like many other natural materials, horn eyewear over time develops a unique patina. As it ages, the character of the horn will begin to show. Very subtle patterns and textures will appear. You will notice the frames further adjust to the shape of your face. This is due to the warmth of your skin. You will also note that areas where your skin makes contact with the horn, a matte finish will develop that will further enhance the fit of the frame.
Horn eyewear is naturally lightweight and strong. Unlike other frames, no wire is needed in the core of the temple pieces to hold the shape of the frame. Horn is hypoallergenic making it perfect for people whose skin reacts to certain metals or have sensitive skin.
A few items need considered when caring for your horn frames. Horn frames should be cleaned by wiping with a soft cloth. When necessary, you can use a mild soap and water and dry with a soft cloth. Never soak your frames. Horn is a natural material and over time, it will need to be moisturized to prevent it from becoming brittle. You should rejuvenate your frames by periodically rubbing them with a mineral based oil such as petroleum jelly or baby oil. Plant based oils are not recommended. The author of this blog post rubs a small amount of Vaseline on his horn frames and leaves on overnight allowing the oil to fully penetrate the frame. In the morning, the frames are fully rejuvenated. With these simple care tips, your horn frames will give you years of enjoyment.
Proper cleaning technique - use a soft, dry cloth. Store glasses in your PAE case.
Enjoy your new buffalo horn frames!
We’re very excited to introduce our new buffalo horn eyewear collection. Traditionally, horn eyewear has been a custom made frame product sold only in luxury frame boutiques and at prices ranging from $700 to well over $1,000. So why the expensive prices? For starters, horn is a lightweight, comfortable and beautiful frame material that is able to command such a high price. While horn from Asian water buffalo is plentiful, few manufacturers have the skill to transform horn into eyewear. Only the most skilled workers at the best frame fabricators have the capability of carving and polishing horn materials in a manner suitable for luxury eyewear.
When you purchase glasses, the frame is sent to a lab where the prescription lens is edged to fit the frame. Horn eyewear requires special care during the lab processing. If not handled properly, horn will crack during when inserting the lens. Trying to process horn frames in a typical assembly line lab is a recipe for disaster. Accordingly, horn eyewear is often sent to specialty labs.
At Penn Avenue Eyewear, we have a specialty lab staffed by artisans who average over twenty years of experience. Retailers around the United States send us their toughest jobs every day. Our employees have the experience, training and equipment to edge and insert lenses for any frame. Simply put, processing horn frames in our lab is not a problem.
In tomorrow’s blog post we will explain how we are able to provide our horn eyewear at such an amazing price. In the meantime, click here to check out all of our current styles!