Given the fact that you’re looking at wood frame sunglasses, we know that the details of style matter to you. You want something that looks good but is also unique. Wood frame sunglasses today are made from a variety of woods you’ve probably heard of, like walnut and beechwood. But today’s highlight is on a couple of lesser-known woods: zebrawood and rosewood. Rosewood’s grain pattern may not stand out as much from that found in the other woods, but its bold fragrance is what makes this wood unique. And the exceptional, bold design of zebrawood has probably caught your attention at some point. Those bold stripes you see weren’t added in by the manufacturers – they’re a natural part of the wood’s pattern. Although at times the wood is stained a different color, such as red, that distinctive contrast between sapwood and grain remains.
Treasures of West Africa
Found in the forests of West Africa, specifically Cameroon and Gabon, zebrawood trees loom over all their neighbors, reaching a height at times of 150 feet (~45 meters). Tiny leaves don’t even reach the size of a paperclip, and this tree’s flowers closely resemble your average garden pea. Zebrawood’s bark – which varies in tones of green, grey and pink - can be up to a foot thick, and the wood is durable and resistant to rot and damage from insects. The texture of the wood itself can be medium to coarse, with a wavy grain.
The wood from this tree is valued because of its unique appearance combining light sapwood with the dark grain. In fact, this is where the wood gets its name from, as its stripes closely resemble those of a zebra. In other parts of the world this wood is called Zebrano, and is popular for its bold striping not found in other woods. Typically less expensive than rosewood, at times supplies have been scarce due to civil wars in West Africa. Twenty years ago this wood was more common, seen especially in the dashboards of cars such as Cadillacs and Mercedes-Benz.
Today you’ll see the wood less often, although it still shows up in cabinetry, paneling and marquetry (the application of veneer to smooth surfaces such as wood to create decorative patterns). It’s also used to make skis, tool handles, and even pens. It glues well, although it doesn’t smell very good when it’s being worked on. Zebrawood is also user-friendly for anyone with wood allergies, as severe reactions are very rare. With its attractive stripes, it makes for a unique look that’s sure to get attention wherever you go.
Loving the Stripes
Although standard zebrawood is light brown with a dark grain, EarthShade’s collection features a few different colors to match your preferences. For example, check out the Charcoal Smoke Zebra Wood Polarized Sunglasses for a color that evokes fall campfires, or the red zebrawood pair, where the wood has been stained for a more intense look. Paired with a smoked gray lens, these shades evoke confidence and style. Or for a more traditional look, the Zebra Wood Polarized Sunglasses are layered with walnut for a strong, durable pair of sunglasses that will stand out in a crowd.
Take Time to Smell the Roses
More than just a drama series about a pathologist with a sophisticated lab, or a setting for teen drama in ABC’s Pretty Little Liars, rosewood is actually a beautiful tree native to a few regions (mostly tropical) in the world. One of these regions is the Brazilian Amazon, where the trees are among the largest (one thing they have in common with the zebrawood tree). Their name, as you might guess, comes from a strong scent some say resembles that of roses. Valued not just for their wood, rosewood trees are also high in oil – this oil is used in a variety of products, including those for the treatment of acne.
Unlike zebrawood, rosewood has more variety to the colors it comes in, although it unfortunately doesn’t also have distinctive stripes. Rosewood can be anywhere from a dark brown to a light purple or even reddish brown. This wood is also prized because of its hardy nature, being resistant to decay and insect damage. One pleasing distinction from zebrawood is that rosewood smells pleasant when it’s being worked on, with its rose-like scent emanating during the process. A very popular wood, rosewood is often used in fine furniture, musical instruments, and flooring.
In a rich red shade perfect for fall, EarthShade’s Red Rosewood polarized sunglasses feature a smoked lens so you can stay cool with 100% UV blocking polarized lenses. Unfortunately, during the manufacturing process these shades probably lost the wood’s original distinctive scent, but feel free to pair these shades with a daily use of rosewood oil (sold wherever you can find essential oils) for a perfect experience.