A wristband is a piece of material that is worn on a person’s wrist, and is a bracelet-like thin band that looks like a wristwatch strap or a thin solid bangle. These are often made and worn for many different reasons; some for decorative purposes and others for promotional reasons. These can be made using a variety of materials that include nylon, polyester, silicone, and other woven materials.
What are Silicone Wristbands?
These thin, bracelet-like strips are made out of a heat resistant synthetic material that has low toxicity, high flexibility, and water-resistance properties. The usual circumference of these bands is between 17.8 cm and 21.6 cm, with widths that range from 1.25 cm to 2 cm, depending on the design. These are known by a few other names, such as jelly bands, rubber wristbands, and rubber bracelets.
These wristbands first became popular in the early 1980s, and were called gel bracelets in those days. Its popularity soared in the early to mid-2000s when these were used more for supporting causes and in boosting awareness for charities, giving them the name “awareness bracelets.”
These days, silicone wristbands are used for more than just awareness and commemorative purposes. Aside from decorative uses and for increasing support for worthy causes, these thin rubber-like bands are being used for other purposes. In the late 2000s, these wristbands were made for use as souvenirs for concerts and sporting events, and for promotional purposes at trade shows and conventions.
Why is Silicone a Preferred Material?
While there are a lot of other materials that can be used to create wristbands with, silicone has always been the favorite choice, and for many good reasons. Silicone is a relatively low-cost material to use for this purpose, and is a cost-effective choice due to the many properties that it possesses.
Silicone material comes with properties that make it a good choice for this use, such as low toxicity, low porosity, resistance to microbiological growth, and low chemical reactivity. It is also resistant to UV light, does not absorb heat and is an insulator of electricity.
Silicone is chosen for the creation of these wristbands because of its versatility and how easily it can be customized. The molding process used to create these bands is simple and very efficient, making it cost effective to produce in large quantities. It is because of this versatility and its cost-effectiveness that silicone bracelets are chosen for custom wristbands.
Uses of Silicone Wristbands
Wristbands made out of silicone have been used in the early 2000s primarily in support of various charitable causes, and to pump up awareness for specific organizations that support these causes. This is where the name “awareness bracelets” came from, which is a take on its predecessor, the awareness ribbon, which has been used for the same purpose from 1917 till the mid-1980s.
Silicone wristbands have evolved into other uses in recent times, with the development of other manufacturing options for these making such an evolution possible. Some of the most common and recent uses of these wristbands include the following:
- Charity Events – these wristbands can be used to not only raise awareness for charitable institutions but also to help raise funds for them. Wristbands can be sold for a token amount and the money collected can be used to fund the charitable work that these organizations do. Wristbands can also be used at the fundraising events these institutions hold, where each one represents a specific denomination that the person holding or wearing it has pledged to donate to the charity.
- Cause-oriented Events – as with charity events, cause-oriented events can also use these bracelets to increase awareness of what the event stands for. This can be to raise funds for additional research into certain diseases (e.g. ALS, AIDS, Cancer), to help those who have been recently hit by natural calamities (e.g. earthquakes, floods, tornadoes), and to raise funds for local athletes, and to gather funds for special events or community infrastructure projects.
- Sporting Events – silicone wristbands can be used at sporting events to show which teams people support. These can be made in the colors worn by each team, which will help indicate which team each person is supporting. The sale of each wristband can also be used to support and fund the many needs of these teams, and can also be used for the development of team projects or to support pet charities these teams are behind.
- School Events – schools can use wristbands for many of their events, like school science fairs, homecoming carnivals, and the like. These gel bracelets can be used in lieu of entrance tickets at school events like proms, or worn to show support for school sponsored causes.
- Community Events – communities can also use these wristbands for their many causes, particularly those that are aimed at raising funds and awareness. Cleanliness drives, fund-raising drives, and other similar goal-oriented causes can benefit from the sale and use of these durable wristbands.
- Fashion – these wristbands can also be customized for fashion purposes. These can come in designs that are considered fashionable by some people these days, and these can include colorful designs as well as unique looking designs. These can also carry funny slogans, popular quotes, and cartoon characters on them.
- Political Events – these bands can also be worn in support of a candidate, and these can be made to carry not only the name of the candidate but also the colors of the candidate’s party. These can be sold to supporters to help fund the candidate’s campaign or simply given out free to increase awareness of such a person’s quest for office.
- Promotional Purposes – companies utilize these wristbands for their promotional needs at trade shows, conventions, conferences, and product launches. They also hand out these silicone bracelets to help with brand awareness and familiarity at special events.
Custom Designed Wristbands
Customized wristbands can be made to serve very specific purposes. These are used by many companies and individuals these days due to their effectiveness at getting messages across and because these are lower costing than other alternatives.
Custom silicone wristbands are made using silicone rubber stock, and can be mass-produced quickly via a molding process that shapes these into the familiar round bracelet shape they come in. When customization is required, manufacturing companies ask for design details that include the following:
- Size – wristband sizes include the circumference, thickness, and width of the bracelet. Standard circumference is between 7 and 8.5 inches, while standard thickness is between .5 and .75 inches. The thickness of the wristband is usually .1 inch to allow for maximum flexibility and ease of use.
- Color – most wristband materials already come with colors mixed into the material, and buyers simply need to choose the color they want from the stock that the company has. If a special color is required, the company will need to be consulted about this and whether it is possible to create such a wristband.
- Printing method – the most cost-effective printing method that people can use for the making of custom wristbands is silk-screen printing. The print can be done in one color or in many colors, depending on the design. Other printing methods that can be used in the customization of these wristbands include the following:
- Debossing – this method produces indented or grooved markings on the wristbands, with the design imprinted into the material.
- Debossing Colored – this is the same as debossing, but with the addition of ink into the imprinted designs on the bracelet. This helps make the design more pronounced and easier to distinguish from its background.
- Embossing – this is the opposite of debossing and creates raised designs instead of recessed ones. This gives your wristband messages a 3-dimensional look with its pop-out effect.
- Embossing Colored – this is when the embossed wristband’s design is inked it to make it look more distinct and eye-catching. The raised designs are inked in with colors that are in contrast with the color of the background material.
- Design – before you decide on the printing method, you will need to come up with the design you want to add to your silicone wristbands. These designs can carry slogans, company catch-phrases, company logos, event names and dates, brands, and many more. You will also need to decide on the colors that these designs will come in, and this may factor in to the total cost of the wristband.