Bracelets have become very a popular accessory, not just because they can be customized to be as decorative as possible, but because of the many things you can do with them. Aside from carrying personalized messages and designs, these can also carry slogans that can increase awareness for various causes. This is why these thin rubber bangles are sometimes called awareness bracelets.
What are Rubber Bracelets?
Rubber bracelets sometimes go by the name baller bands or baller ID bands. They’re also called rubber wristbands and rubber bangles by some. These bracelets have a similar function as silicone bands and are used for a variety of reasons. Most rubber bracelets are manufactured with a width of .5 to .75 inches, and a circumference of 7 to 8.5 inches.
The thicknesses of these bands are often at 0.1 inches, although there are a few that are thicker. Thickness is usually dependent on the design of the wristband, and purpose they’re being crafted for. Most are the standard 1/10 of an inch though, and this is to ensure that these are easy to wear and totally flexible.
The original rubber bracelets were called gel bands, and these were first manufactured in the 1980s. These have been very popular since then, and this is because these are low costing and easy to customize. Rubber bracelets have gained even more popularity in recent years due to their use as fund-raising tools, like in the case of the Livestrong yellow rubber bracelets.
Why is Rubber a Good Material for Bracelets?
Rubber is one of the chosen materials for wristbands due to its abundant availability and ease of use. This material is easy to customize, is very pliable, and can be easily colored in many different shades. The main characteristics of the rubber used in bracelets are similar to that which you can find in silicone wristbands.
Rubber bracelets are waterproof, they have low toxicity, and they don’t support the growth of microbes. Rubber is also tough and resistant to shock, wear, friction and pressure. Synthetic rubber bracelets undergo a mixing and molding process that begins with the combination of the materials into a dough-like substance. The amalgam is then heated and stirred until the right consistency is achieved.
Once the rubber for these wristbands are made, it is then rolled out via a huge rolling pin, which does two things at the same time – roll the material into the right thickness and cool it down. When the rubber sheets are cool enough and have proper thickness, it is cut into strips, which are fed into a machine called an extruder.
It is in the extruder that the round shape of these bracelets is attained, with the rubber being shaped into a long continuous form that resembles a fireman’s hose. This tube is heated, cooled, then washed, and finally prepared for printing or marking. Once marked, the tube is cut into the thin bracelet strips that are worn by many people for many different reasons.
Where Rubber Bracelets Are Used
Rubber wristbands are used for many different things, much like silicone bracelets. These were first used to make people aware of a variety of causes and used by a lot of organizations to drum up support for these. These bracelets actually take after their predecessors: the awareness ribbon. These were used to also drum up support for various causes in decades past.
You can probably say that rubber bracelets have taken the place of these ribbons in terms of getting people to sit up and take notice of the many causes that need support and attention. This doesn’t mean, however, that these rubber bangles can’t and aren’t used for other things. These are also used for these other applications:
Customizing Rubber Wristbands
Rubber wristbands can be customized to fit a lot of the needs of different companies, organizations, and individuals. Customization begins at the manufacturing plant where the rubber used to create these ballers is made. This is because the color for these bands is added in at the rubber making stage, and the thickness as well as the circumference also has to be indicated before the wristbands are produced.
The molding process for these bracelets allows for the quick creation of these products, and mass production is made possible with this same procedure. Before these bracelets can be made, however, some information has to be given to the manufacturer by the person ordering these:
Interesting Information About Rubber Bracelets in Pop Culture
Livestrong Bracelets – these may be the most popular wristbands in the world, with approximately 80 million of these yellow bracelets having been sold since 2004. This fund raising bracelet was made by sportswear giant Nike to create awareness and support for people with cancer. Controversy actually surrounds this wristband and this is due to its founder, Lance Armstrong, who confessed to doping during his Tour de France career. He was stripped of his victories in 2012 and the foundation, which was formerly called the Lance Armstrong Foundation, was renamed into the Livestrong Foundation.
70’s Anti-fashion Statements – in the 70s and the 80s, these bracelets came in black and were worn to indicate a person’s departure from the normal wearing of traditional jewelry. Since rubber is of a significantly lower value than other materials used to create jewelry, it was seen as a form of rebellion or departure from the norm. Some artists perpetuated this belief by wearing multi-colored rubber wristbands on their arms, and these included such icons as Cindy Lauper and Madonna.
NBA Ballers – these have also gained popularity among sports fans as a form of support for their favorite NBA teams and players. These ballers carry not only the team’s colors, but also the logo, and sometimes the name and number of specific popular players. Some players wore these during their games and when they made public appearances.
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