Fashion Meets Functionality in Lucite®-Inspired Acrylic
by Leslie, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
Lucite has been used in all manner of products from aeronautics, jewelry, periscopes, architecture and more. But, where did this amazingly versatile material come from and what exactly is it?
It all began in the 1930s when acrylic businesses ICI and DuPont joined to create Lucite International. The company pioneered commercial technology processes for acrylic, registering the name PERSPEX® (which means, "to see through" in Latin) for their product. The material itself is lightweight and shatter-resistant, especially when compared to glass.
||The creation of this clear durable acrylic provided opportunities in all manner of business and engineering. In the 1940s, during World War II, acrylic glass was used for submarine periscopes, windshields, canopies and turrets for airplanes. By the 1960s, Lucite had even made more of the world available to humanity. Deep-sea diving suits were equipped with acrylic visors, allowing for maneuverability and a clearer view than the clunky suits of the past. It didn't take long for the fashion world to also see how useful Lucite could be.
Frosted acrylic flowers and leaves are at the forefront of jewelry designs and the trend isn't losing any clout. Between the saturated flashy hues or the gentle and subdued pastels, Lucite-inspired materials are off limits in no color palette. Since acrylic is also incredibly lightweight, designers have no fear of creating designs uncomfortably heavy even when layering and clustering products together. For this reason, earrings benefit greatly from the glass look-alike for extravagance without any headache. The matte finish lends a wonderful contrast against all metal tones, more sparkly materials such as crystal and even with the timeless luster of pearls. Used in wire-wrapping applications and all manner of jewelry-making techniques, Lucite-inspired acrylic proves itself once again as one of the most versatile, and therefore sought after, components. In fact, all acrylic seems to be enjoying a well-deserved resurgence in the fashion world harking back to the days of I Love Lucy.
|Not long after the Second World War, Lucite acrylic found its place among high-end and luxury fashion items including handles on purses and accents on jewelry. Stylish interiors sported brightly colored bathtubs and interiors made from the durable glass-like material. Later in the century, Lucite catwalks became what models strutted their stuff on, once again providing designer beauty to match its practicality.
Today, Lucite and all manner of acrylic products continue to show up in light fixtures, furniture, interiors and in the accessories market. Acrylic is beneficial to use in jewelry designs because of its resemblance to glass but its sturdier chemical makeup. Be bold and fearless with Fire Mountain Gems' line of acrylic and vintage Lucite-inspired product lines.
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