Because of its superior barrier protection, tactile sensitivity, comfort, memory, elasticity and fit, natural rubber latex is the material of choice in more than 40,000 products. Native to the Amazon basin, natural rubber from the Hevea brasiliensis tree was first used by American Indians centuries ago. Pre-Columbian people are believed to have used rubber for balls, containers, and shoes as well as for waterproofing fabrics.1735: The French bring rubber to Europe.
1803: World’s first rubber factory opens near Paris.
1820: England’s first rubber factory established.
1823: Charles Macintosh discovers practical way to waterproof fabric.
1841: Charles Goodyear discovers rubber vulcanization.
1850: Rubber demand expands to electrical insulation and pneumatic tires.
1876: Hevea brasiliensis tree seeds smuggled to Asia.
20th Century: Cultivation spreads to 20 degrees north and south of the equator.
1987: Natural rubber latex concentrate production increases as compared to total natural rubber product. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that healthcare workers practice universal precautions to protect themselves from HIV infection.
2005: Vytex® Natural Rubber Latex (NRL) introduced.
2008: Manufacturers begin trials substituting Vytex NRL for traditional natural rubber latex and synthetics in numerous products.
2009: Envy™ NRL, the first condom made of Vytex NRL, to be introduced to marketplace.