Latex — The definitive beginners’ guide
What is latex material? Is it good? Is it versatile? Are items made of latex common? Let’s talk about this incredible natural material and how it is one of the most popular choices for various industries and manufacturers across the globe.
What is latex?
Latex is a mixture of polymer microparticles and water, and it is found in nature. The material is natural, although there is a synthetic version of it as well. In the original state, latex is a milky white fluid, and it can be further processed to create the rubber and latex we all know and use.
The material is one of the most popular ones in the world, and there are plenty of uses for it. It is common in medicine for gloves and equipment, for clothing, and rubber (which is a derivative of some forms of latex) is even more popular.
Today, many people love the natural feel of latex and they wear clothes made from this material on a daily basis. Of course, the most popular area for natural and synthetic latexes is the clothing industry, and more and more people are discovering this incredible material.
What is latex made from?
As we mentioned earlier, latex is a natural material, and it is found in rubber trees. In fact, ten percent of all flowering plants contain latex. The milky white fluid is located beneath the bark, and harvesting latex is quite simple. But more on that later.
The word latex comes from the Latin word for liquid, and it can be quite useful. What is important is that some species of rubber trees contain natural rubber latex, which means that the liquid can be used to create rubber. In essence, rubber is a type of latex, but not all latex trees contain rubber.
Of course, if we are talking about latex products, there are plenty of things added to the material to ensure it is usable. The companies don’t use 100% natural latex, and they add other substances to improve the material and make it more durable. Synthetic latex, on the other hand, is made from petroleum, and it uses SBR or styrene-butadiene rubber. It is not nearly as stretchy and durable as natural latex, which is one of many reasons people prefer the real thing.
How is latex made?
Latex is located just beneath the bark, and the only thing needed for the harvest is to tap it. The process is quite simple, and it doesn’t damage the tree permanently. Harvesting latex is performed in cycles, which means that the tree will have enough time to heal. Once the latex is collected or harvested, it is processed to create sheets.
If we are looking at the process from the beginning, it starts with planting. You will need a rubber tree if you want to harvest latex in the future. After the latex is harvested, it goes to further processing. The next step is to remove water from the mixture, which is achieved either through evaporation or with the help of centrifugal force. This way, the manufacturer can get liquid concentrate.
If they want to produce dry stock, they will coagulate it with acid, and after drying the mixture, it will create a crumb-like substance. Adding acid can also help create latex sheets, and the only thing that matters is what the manufacturer is trying to achieve. Or rather, what their plans for further processing are.
What are the different uses of latex?
There are a lot of everyday products made from latex or rubber, and it is one of the most popular materials. Simple items like balloons or rubber bands are made of rubber, but also condoms and diaphragms. Naturally, many people use condoms for protection during sex, and the majority of models are made of latex.
Additionally, gloves used by medical workers are also made from this material, and there are plenty of other items you see and use every day. Of course, rubber is essential for many industries, you can use it for pipes and hoses, and car tires contain rubber. The options are almost limitless.
Finally, we should mention that latex has been one of the most popular clothing materials in the past couple of years. People enjoy wearing it, and the feeling of latex is often described as having a “second skin.” The skin-tight design is quite sexy, and many people love showing off their bodies.
Latex in fashion
The use of latex in the fashion industry has grown in the past couple of years. More and more people are willing to experiment with this material and see what it has to offer. The first thing on everyone’s mind is catsuits, and they are designed to cover most of your body. They are skin-tight, and they can be quite erotic. But even if you don’t want to go as far as wearing a catsuit, there are plenty of different options.
It is also possible to find clothing items that aren’t skin-tight if that is to your liking. There are latex jackets, shirts, and even underwear. One of the most popular clothing items made of latex is boots. They are waterproof and durable, and they look amazing.
And the best thing about latex clothing is that you will get high quality, without having to spend a fortune on it. It is more than obvious how latex clothing gains popularity by the day, and even celebrities are wearing it on the red carpet. If you are curious about the material, you can always start small. Get yourself a pair of latex gloves and see how it feels on your skin.
How versatile latex is?
Latex is one of the most versatile materials you can find. It can be stretchy and soft, but it can be hard and durable. In essence, latex can be anything you want it to be. If you think about it, the material is used for so many different things, and it only confirms its versatility.
When condoms, pacifiers, car tires, catheters, and hoses are made from the same material, it only shows that you can use it for almost anything. It would be hard to imagine a life without latex and rubber today.
And if you want to check out latex clothing, you can probably find it in your local store. Worst-case scenario, you can order it online, and you’ll be able to get your hands on it in just a couple of days.