Rubber and Latex...are they the same material?
Published April 19th 2013 by Ryan
There is a difference between latex and rubber, but it may not be what you think. Latex is the white sap that comes from the Para rubber tree. The milky white sap is a dispersion of rubber, water, proteins, sugar, ash, dirt and other impurities. The rubber tree uses the latex sap to close wounds in its bark. The word latex is derived from the Latin words lac lactis (milk)and texo (weave, construct, build).
Rubber or natural rubber (NR) is a component found in latex sap. The latex sap contains approx. 35-40% rubber. Through different methods, centrifugation or evaporation, the rubber in latex sap can be concentrated up to 60%; it can even reach 80% through a process called creaming.
At the end of the 1700’s, a stationer in New England accidentally discovered that you could rub out pencil marks using this condensed byproduct of a tree. The British scientist, Joseph Priestley, suggested calling this by product rubber, from “rub out”.
So what is the difference between rubber and latex? Latex is the raw material, the white protective sap of the rubber tree; and rubber is the product that remains after the latex has dried out. Most of us use the words latex and rubber interchangeably, but rubber is a byproduct of latex.
Why do people wear latex?
Latex fascinates people because of the way it feels against their skin. When worn, latex tends to be skin-tight, producing a ‘second skin.’ As a result, latex redefines your silhouette; similar to that of a corset. The surface of latex is smooth and soft and it warms up to body temperature when worn, making it pleasant to touch.
Latex is a very versatile material; it comes in different thicknesses which generally range from about 0.18 mm to 0.5 mm. Different thickness of latex are used to make a variety of clothing ranging from translucent latex undergarments to very thick rubber clothing.
Our customers wear latex clothing because it makes them feel sexy; it is like being nude without being completely exposed. Latex hugs, squeezes, and feels wonderful when worn.
Is it difficult to wear? And what is the best way to put it on?
Putting on latex clothing can be difficult, because latex has high friction against dry skin. To make it easier to put on, you can use talcum powder or lubricant on the inside of the garment.
We recommend using talcum powder when slipping into a sensuous latex garment. Begin by sprinkling some talcum powder on the inside of your latex garment, and then rub some talcum powder over your body prior to slipping into the garment. It can be easier, and even more fun, to put latex clothing on with the help of another individual.
Make sure that you are freshly showered and have not put on any creams, oils or perfumes before wearing latex. Latex is a natural fabric and can be chemically affected by oils and perfumes. It is important not to wear any jewelry (including piercings), as this may damage latex; both by ripping it and creating a permanent stain through a chemical reaction.
What is the best way to maintain my latex garment(s)?
To clean latex clothing, rinse it inside and out with lukewarm water. Latex will stick to itself once you have removed any lubricants and talcum powder, so handle with care. Place the garment on a wooden or plastic hanger, and allow it to dry thoroughly. Once your garment is dry, sprinkle talcum powder inside and out, and store in a plastic bag in a cool dry place. Be sure to keep away from bright light as this can lead to fading and color change.
How do I make my latex garment shiny?
We recommend giving your latex garment a super high shine with our Latex Polish. Remember to only apply the product once you are wearing it.
What brand of latex clothing do you carry?
We carry two brands of latex clothing: BodyAware and Libidex of London.
We design and manufacture our BodyAware Latex Range in the United States. Our BodyAware line includes briefs, bodysuits, thongs, skirts and garter belts. All of the BodyAware products are made in our facility in Arizona. Every individual pair is hand cut and bonded by our experienced latex designers.
We are pleased to introduce Libidex Latex clothing. Libidex of London is one of the finest and most unique designers and manufacturers of custom latex clothing in the world. We are currently stocking many of their most popular designs, including full rubber catsuits, jeans, vests, zipper underwear and shorts.
What about allergic reactions to latex clothing?
Allergic reactions to latex can happen, but these cases are rare. Libidex and BodyAware both use Radical Rubber sheeting (developed by Libidex) which is leached to reduce the allergenic proteins that occur naturally in latex. If you think you have an allergy to latex, it is best to avoid latex clothing.