Latex: what it is, where it comes from and what properties it hides

Latex: what it is, where it comes from and what properties it hides</span >

What is latex?

The lattice or latex or latice (from Latin latex = liquid, Greek ancient: Λάταξ = rest of the wine, which was thrown into the game of kottabos) is an emulsion with a milky appearance and sticky consistency, generally white in colour, rarely yellow, orange or reddish, which is found in certain cells (the laticifers) of numerous higher plants (euphorbiaceae, papaveraceae, moraceae, sapoaceae, composite asteraceae, etc.) and in the fungi of the genera Lactarius and Lactifluus, as well as in the Multifurca furcata.

The natural latex is obtained from the milky sap of the rubber tree, HEVEA BRASILIENSIS and the HEVEA GUIANENSIS. The Amazon and Guianas basin is reported to be the place of origin of these species, which however are cultivated mainly in Malaysia and Indonesia for industrial purposes to produce rubber.

Through an incision on the trunk, latex is obtained in its natural state, which is then modified by a manufacturing process where various additives are added (accelerants, stabilizers, antioxidants, vulcanisers, etc.) to give the desired shape to the product finished.

The term latex foam is, however, used above all for technical purposes and often used by professionals; mattresses, for example, are created with latex foam which is the primary compound (mixture of latex and air) so it is possible to proceed to the phases of vulcanization to reach the finished product , which is generally referred to, incorrectly, as a "latex mattress".

The European Community regulations in this regard actually refer only to "latex foam" to indicate all latex mattresses and therefore there is no difference in the use of the terms between "latex" and "latex foam" latex”.


What are the uses of latex?

  • The latex of medicinal plants, such as that of the opium poppy (whose psycholeptic properties are also exploited for recreational use), is extracted for medicines. Where possible, we try to produce by artificial synthesis the same active ingredients contained in the specific latex of interest, but in herbal medicine, or in other sectors where cultivation is managed as a productive activity, it is also usedra the extract of the plant. For example, the latex of Celandine or fig is used fresh, applied directly to leeks and warts.


  • Latex, processed and transformed into sheets, becomes an excellent material for padding mattresses with high elasticity, durability and resistance properties. The communicating microcells inside create a continuous air movement which makes it fresh and self-ventilated. It is also very hygienic as it has a bactericidal and germicidal activity.


  • It is used for the creation of clothing, originally linked to BDSM culture, but later also widespread in mass clothing.</ li>



What are the properties of latex?

Latex is an extremely suitable product for the production of mattresses and cushions. Thanks to its elasticity it is able to resume its original shape even after being stressed and deformed for some time.

Also it is a breathable material; it will allow us to keep the temperature of our bed constant, ideal in both summer and winter. Allowing us to enjoy the right rest in any climate and in all seasons.

In addition to this, latex is a hypoallergenic material, i.e. with a low content of substances that can cause reactions allergies, despite this he is not entirely free from them. We remember the presence of the eveine; even if only a small percentage of the population can develop an allergic reaction, it is advisable to pay attention.

It must be said, however, that latex has always been the most used material to produce gloves which are then used by doctors; by virtue of its hypoallergenic and hygienic characteristics.

Finally, latex is an antibacterial and anti-mite, capable of maintaining a very high level of hygiene in our bed. These properties are linked above all to its alveolar structure which allows the correct circulation of air inside it.


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