Made in England

It takes a grand total of 72 hours to create a pair of Handcrafted frames; our premium collection made in micro-batches of around 15 pieces per style. The process closely mimics bespoke-making and everything takes place in our small workshop in England. 

Kirk Originals Handmade Sunglasses Overview
Kirk Originals Sunglasses and optical frames made from Mazzucchelli Acetate
Kirk Originals Made in England Handcut Acetate
Kirk Originals Made in England Bumping the bridge into acetate sunglasses

Next up we have the catchy step  called ‘bumping the bridge’, which is a style-driven aesthetic we like all of our Handcrafted frames to have. What we do is we gently warm up the acetate around the bridge, which is the area that rests on the top of your nose and we manipulate this area with a male/female mould that’s over 50 years old to create this nice, little bump. The heating doesn’t end there, though, as we also use it to gently curve the frame front from end to end. We don’t do this with a mould, but instead by hand which is extremely difficult as it can only be done with experience, a niche kind of muscle memory and a precise amount of strength.

Kirk Originals Handmade Sunglasses shaping grind stone
Kirk Originals Made in England hand filing shape to sunglasses frame
Kirk Originals Handmade Sunglasses temple cutting
Kirk Originals Made in England temple pin machine
Kirk Originals Made in England temple shaping and chalking
Kirk Originals handmade sunglasses 16hr tumbling process

Once the front and temples have reached a satisfactory aesthetic, they’re then placed inside two tumblers which are octagonal-shaped drums filled with stones and wood chips. They go in the first one for 16 hours, and then into another for a further 16 hours. The second drum has the added ingredient of a polishing paste which gives the front and temples a fine lustre. They’re then polished by hand before the assembly takes place.

Kirk Originals Made in England clan fronts, no pins.
Kirk Originals Made in England temple drilling for hinges
Kirk Originals Made in England attaching temples to hinges

The end of temples, where they meet the lugs of the frame front, need to be sanded down to size. It’s approximately a trimming of 5mm, resulting in a 145mm temple which is the uniform length across the range. They’re then placed within a custom vice, colloquially known as a ‘bender’, and with a precise amount of force bent by hand to have a gentle curve that rests around your ears. This is another step that underlines the artisanal process of our Handcrafted range, as it can only be done with experience and muscle memory.

Kirk Originals Made in England gold foil branding on templates
Kirk Originals Handmade Sunglasses bespoke lens cutting
Kirk Originals Made in England Finished, polish pair of sunglasses