What are Latex Gloves?

Your Glove Source is diving into other aspects of latex gloves, so that you can know your gloves well.

 History of latex gloves

For over 120 years latex gloves have been manufactured! This manufacturing has taken place largely in Malaysia because this country is the primary source of the rubber tree that produces the latex.

The very first documented use of latex gloves dates back even before these gloves were being manufactured. Back in 1883, a surgeon at John Hopkins hospital wanted to find a way to protect his nurse’s hands. So, he asked the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company if they could make a rubber glove that could withstand certain chemicals. Goodyear was able to create this product, and it was successful.

It wasn’t until the following year that these original latex gloves became part of daily use at John Hopkins, and other hospitals began taking notice as well. However, in these early days of production, users found it very difficult to get the gloves completely onto their hands. To solve this problem, a type of ground moss was mixed with talcum powder as a lubricant for the gloves. But, after a few years, it was discovered that the ground moss was poisonous to humans! Then, just talc powder was used by itself as a lubricant for over 40 years. But, once again, its harmful effects were discovered and since 1945, cornstarch has been the lubricant of choice for latex gloves.

The very first disposable latex gloves were manufactured in 1964 by a company called Ansell in Australia. And, believe it or not, the manufacturing process was modeled after the process used for male contraceptives. Since this time, latex gloves have exploded in popularity and manufacturing and production have maintained a steady rate up until today.

What are latex gloves made of?





Latex itself is actually found in nature in about 10% of
flowering plants, and most commonly in rubber trees It is
a milky liquid that comes from the tree when the outer
bark is shaved off and the tree naturally oozes the liquid.
Typically the milky substance that is harvested is white,
but can be yellow, orange, or even red. In nature, the term
“latex” refers to this milky substance.

This latex from nature is then manufactured into natural 
rubber. This rubber in turn, is used to make a variety of 
commercial goods, including latex gloves. The main
difference between the latex found in nature and natural
rubber used in production is the chemical compounds
added to the latex during manufacturing. These added
chemicals essentially enhance the durability of the gloves
and make the product suitable for use as a glove.


How are Latex gloves made?

The liquid latex that is combined with the strengthening
chemicals is the start of the production process. A hand
shaped form (varying in size and shape) is then dipped into
this heated latex solution and allowed to dry and harden. After the latex glove has dried and hardened around the form it goes through a rinsing process which helps to get rid of any remaining chemical or unwanted protein residue. After rinsing, the glove is removed from the form and ready to be packed and shipped.

Latex glove manufacturing

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