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Natural rubber: latex

Rubber latex is extracted from rubber trees: Hevea brasiliensis. It was first used by Mesoamericans for making balls for their ballgames. Later rubber was used by the Maya and Aztec cultures, who in addition to making balls also made rubber containers with it and used it to waterproof textiles. In the late 1800's Henry Wickham smuggled rubber tree seeds from Brazil to Kew Gardens and then sent the seedlings to India, Ceylon, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Malaysia is now the biggest producer of rubber in the world. And this is where we manufacture our IRONskin latex gloves. 

Latex rubber is harvested from making incisions in the bark of the tree and collecting the fluid in vessels. This is known as "tapping". The collected latex, known as "field latex" is then transferred into coagulation tanks for the preparation of dry rubber, or transferred into air -tight containers with sieving for ammonisation. This preserves the latex in a colloid state for longer periods of time. It is then processed into either concentrate for manufacture or coagulated ready for processing into block rubbers. it is then palletized ready for storage and shipment.

Natural rubber is used extensively, either alone or in combination with other materials, due to its large stretch ratio, high resilience and its waterproof properties.