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History and Tradition

Old Horn Glasses, Japan 18th Century

First Eyeglasses

Ever since eyeglasses were invented in 13th century in Italy, horn was a material of choice for the mainstream eyeglasses products. It was easily accessible and well mastered material by the time eyeglasses become popular. Horn was already in wide use for thousands of years. Hair combs, table ware, ceremonial gear and other decorative items were made out of horn. Sheep and buffalo were farmed worldwide.

Horn-rimmed Eyeglasses are not Horn

By 17th century horn eyeglasses were sold through out Europe. Popular materials used for glasses such as tortoise were rapidly disappearing. Eyeglasses industry got another boost by invention of celluloid, a form of plastic. From then on until past few years acetate and metal were used for production of eyeglasses in the developed world. Horn-rimmed eyeglasses material was made to imitate natural horn or tortoise. Even today horn-rimmed is often confused with actual horn.

The Era of Organic

Everything changed in late 1990 when the fashion for organic came into effect. Scientists started to realize that we over consume the earth resources and strongly push this message to public. Genetically modified organisms (GMO), that in fact include almost every plant based and subsequently live stock material we all consume, became a widely known term. More brands started to use wood in production of eyeglasses. Horn material gained a new life.

Today, there are a handful of companies that sell horn eyeglasses. Horn remains widely exclusive material. It quite popular in Japan, and Japanese as you know is one of the most fashionable nation in the world. Japanese value perfection and exclusivity, they don't like mainstream or cheap. In the past 10 years genuine horn eyeglasses are mostly sold in Japan.

Horn Eyewear believes in nature sustainability. We are glad to present you our collection of genuine horn eyeglasses.