Ribbon Sunglasses : Retractable Cleaning Cloth | Skillshare Projects

Patrick McCrory

Student at Art Center College of Design



Ribbon Sunglasses : Retractable Cleaning Cloth

Avant-Garde Eyewear

Have you ever been walking around outside and realized that you need to clean the lenses on your sunglasses? Individual microfiber cloths are very hard to keep track of while you are on the go. 

In the past if you had this problem, you would have to resort to using whatever cloth was available for cleaning, no matter how abrasive. I decided that this was a problem I wanted to solve. I asked myself: how can a pair of sunglasses be combined with the superior cleaning ability of microfiber material?

This question led to the creation of Ribbon Sunglasses.

How Do They Work?

Ribbon Sunglasses conceal a retractable microfiber cloth inside of the sunglass frame, allowing you to always have access to it no matter where you are. 

When you want to access the microfiber ribbon for cleaning, pull the recessed tab on the front of the frame. This tab allows you to extend the cloth. Run the cloth lightly over your lenses to clean away debris.

Once cleaning is completed, it is just as easy to get the ribbon back inside of the frame. Simply turn the thumb-wheel hidden in the corner of the frame until the ribbon is fully retracted. Once inside the frame, the ribbon is hidden completely from view.

Having a retractable microfiber cloth is a wonderful and very natural addition to a pair of sunglasses. It doesn't feel tacked on; it looks and feels completely integrated, as if it would improve the experience of any pair of eyewear. 

How Do They Look?

Short answer: they look GREAT.

The retractable ribbon has been built low profile into the corner of the frame. The functionality is so well integrated that it has effectively been made invisible inside of the design. These sunglasses look very sharp. 

The frame design was inspired by counter-culture imagery of the 1960s, mixed with sort of a new age appeal. Specifically, the frame recalls Ray-Ban's classic Wayfarer sunglasses, while at the same time having a slightly more modern, urban look. 

Materials and Construction

Ribbon Sunglasses not only bring new functionality to the realm of eyewear, they are also made using the highest quality materials to help promote long-term durability. Here is an overview of what will go into a pair...


The lenses begin with a polarized polycarbonate core, which is thermally fused to five additional layers. Two UV filtering layers block 100% of UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays up to 400 nanometers. The final outer layer consists of two scratch resistant films to help protect the lenses and keep them looking great.


The sunglass frame is made from injection molded polycarbonate plastic. This material gives the sunglasses a sturdy feel while also allowing them to effectively wrap around and conform to your face. Polycarbonate plastics are an industry standard and are proven to last through a great number of uses without difficulty. I want you to enjoy your Ribbon Sunglasses well into the future.

Microfiber Cloth

The retractable microfiber cloth i'm using for the cleaning ribbon is the highest quality material available. The design required a very thin microfiber material, otherwise it wouldn't roll up tight enough to hide inside of the frame. It just so happened that the thinnest cloth was also the most effective at cleaning. A fiber weight of only .065 denier makes it almost twice as thin as other cleaning cloths on the market.

Production Plan

Currently, I have several working prototypes of our frame design. Small changes need to be made to the microfiber insert piece, including a magnetic tip on the ribbon's axle to help it stay in place inside of the frame cavity. These changes will take place in the 3D modeling suite, perhaps taking a couple of weeks to finalize. They should not be very difficult.

Once the changes are made to the CAD files, i'll begin working with one of several injection molding manufacturers that i'm in talks with around the LA metro. This stage that will be where we create the finalized production sunglasses. Once I have the parts injection molded and polished, they will be shipped out as soon as possible!


I want to keep it simple in the rewards i'm offering to backers of this project. I know that most of you, if interested, are going to want the sunglasses themselves. 

When you back Ribbon at one of the levels where you receive an actual pair of sunglasses, you will be contacted after the project to confirm which color microfiber ribbon should be included with your sunglasses. 

At the lower funding levels, i'll send you a digital version of Ribbon's product development "process book". This book is going to be really cool, illustrated, and will take you through the entire process of what it has taken me to bring this product to market.

The reward levels are as follows:

  • $5: Backer-only updates and a digital process book
  • $25: T-shirt, backer-only updates and a digital process book
  • $70: Early Bird Deal - Sunglasses with microfiber of your color choice
  • $80: Classic - Sunglasses with microfiber of your color choice
  • $90: Kaleidoscope - Sunglasses with microfiber in every color offered

Risks and challengesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter

I've spent nearly a year while attending design school working on these sunglasses. 15 different prototypes have been created, in several different styles. I'm very confident that i'll be able to deliver a great product, but there is still work to do!

Below are some of the things i'll have to tackle before completion:

Retractor wheel upgrades: Currently, the retractor wheel for the ribbon is pressure fit into its cavity. I want to change this so that the ribbon's axle piece has a magnet on the bottom of it, so that it can fit to the floor of the cavity, and still be easily removed. This is a pretty simple set of changes that need to be made before we begin the injection molding process.

Injection molding: Being located in the LA metro, I have access to a large number of injection molding facilities. Right now I'm in talks with several different companies; I want to make sure i'm working with a manufacturer that can deliver the highest quality molds. Selecting the right injection molding partner will be one of the most important parts of the manufacturing process. It's about getting you the best product possible.

Thanks so much for checking the project out, and please help support the creation of Ribbon Sunglasses!


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