Utilitarian items are acknowledged for their practicality, usefulness, and function, but today they are not boring. Far from being dull, eyewear-cleaning cloths have morphed into works of contemporary, cutting-edge art. Eyewear designers are creating imaginative cloths while engaging the unique skills and original perceptions of noted artists. The results are inspired lens cloths with exclusive, striking designs – from fun to fantasy.
Brighton-based designer Sarah Arnett, who designs for fashion brands, interiors and produces fine art illustrations, brings her intriguing background of years in India and Zimbabwe to her lens cloths for Kirk & Kirk. The distinctive, iconic Regency architecture of Brighton and the tropical scenery of her years abroad are captured in the latest design for the British brand, also based in the historic seaside city. Magical bright colorations, flora, and fauna, plus the domes and minarets of John Nash’s Brighton Pavilion – are stylistically captured in the oversized cloth with a luxurious sheen.
Here at The Optical Journal, publisher, executive editor, and spectacle wearer, Daniel Feldman designs lens clothes for clients. Frequently historical characters are featured on the cloths and include a dashing Napoleon based on the painting by Jacques-Louis David; (pictured) plus the stylish 18th-century painter Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun, and Renoir for Europtics, a Colorado-based chain of optical stores. With the historical provenance, the lens cloths are captivating and certainly spark conversational interest if cleaning glasses with friends or colleagues.
A legacy of collaborations with visual innovators – artists, illustrators, photographers, and graphic designers – is a hallmark of L.A. Eyeworks. Los Angeles artists that explore the cleaning cloth as a canvas for creative action and ingenuity complement the latest eyewear collections with newly commissioned designs. Working in diverse media, and frequently with labor-intensive methods, Liz Young focuses on themes that evoke the beauty, fragility, and the inevitable decay of nature and the human body. Perhaps metaphorically referencing the American West, Young’s photo of a horse’s eye captures a moment of stillness, a poetic pause between vitality and decline.
The landscape of the Tirol in Austria is the inspiration for the handcrafted eyewear by Rolf Spectacles in stone, wood, horn, and bio-friendly materials. Their plant-based bean glasses recently captured the European Green Award. With the Rolf brother’s appreciation for their mountain heritage, the oversized, timeless cleaning cloth displays Nature’s emerging beauty and bounty.
Salt. Optics is also deeply influenced by Nature, and their frames reflect the laidback, sun-filled atmosphere of Southern California. The latest cleaning cloth design is a beautiful image of the sea – perhaps with a hint of a storm brewing on its choppy water, one of the many moods of ocean expression that is constantly changing.
The Nordic Light Signature Collection by Fleye Copenhagen is an homage to the iconic Danish artists of the 19th century – The Skagen Painters. Reflecting the unique quality of remarkable Scandinavian light, the colorations in the cleaning cloth are a correlation to the impressive and exciting frame colors that are evident in both optical and sun spectacle designs.
Jacques Marie Mage is a proponent of individuality, and the ebullient designer behind a wide range of products, including eyewear and cleaning cloths. His Limited Edition cloths are statement pieces that reflect his playful and powerful approach to design.
Creative and practical cleaning cloths incorporating artistic expression are fun to use; protect your eyewear; and ensures a personal, pragmatic style, with cleaner and clearer spectacles.