What Is Natural Latex?
Natural latex has been used for many centuries. It derives from the rubber tree which is found near the equator in Asia. These trees produce liquid latex for up to 30 years and aren’t harmed in the process of extraction. This material is used in a number of products and as of recently, this includes the creation of mattresses.
Facts about Natural Latex
- Rubber trees grow only within about 10 degrees of the equator. It needs a hot, moist environment to thrive.
- The trees are tapped, and a small amount of the liquid rubber is collected.
- The trees can be tapped about 180 days each year. Only in rainy seasons and summer is it unable to be tapped. Once the tree is done being tapped, the serum heals the tree so it stops seeping.
- Natural latex was originally founded and grown in Brazil but anymore, the rubber trees found in Brazil are all wild. Almost all latex used in manufacturing today comes from the far East, close to the equator.
- When the serum is harvested, it is about 2/3 water.
- Latex serum in its pure state is fairly thick and must be processed.
- Almost all manufacturers that use natural latex in their products combine it with ammonia. Ammonia is a naturally-occurring product that is washed out later in the processing.
- To create the mattress or product that the latex was collected for, it needs to be expanded and concentrated. This is done by adding ingredients and whipping or frothing the material in a process called vulcanization.
- After it is combined with other additives, the natural latex is washed multiple times in clean running water and then sent through a machine that releases the access moisture and molds it into shape.
- Natural latex although durable, is biodegradable. This prevents landfills from piling up with mattresses that are otherwise difficult to dispose of. Latex mattresses are eco-friendly and provide a cleaner, healthier place to sleep.
- The rubber tree produces liquid latex as a way of keeping it safe from pests. Dust mites and other bugs that tend to use other mattresses as their habitat and way to thrive, don’t stand a chance with a latex foam mattress since it continues to act as a barrier to them even after the vulcanization process.