What is the Caucciù?
Il caucciù is a natural rubber extracted from the latex of some commonly called plants Rubber trees. We can consider the caucciù like the oldest rubber in the world: worked for centuries with the traditional Vulcanization method, an environmentally friendly mechanical process.
Unfortunately replaced over the years by petroleum-based synthetic rubbers, today only very few companies still use caucciù to produce mainly shoe soles, but also other products.
High costs and long production times have meant that this natural rubber was set aside in favor of synthetic rubbers: cheaper and faster to market.
Il caucciù it is mistakenly confused as a synthetic material, but as we said this is not the case: il caucciù it is the only 100% natural rubber, which is why we included it in the textile fibers natural, although not a real textile fiber.
The rubber tree
The rubber tree belongs to the Hevea brasiliensis family from which a white latex is extracted which after some chemical / mechanical processes becomes a natural rubber, the caucciù.
The rubber tree can exceed 40 meters in height, but in intensive cultivation these plants are much smaller, because the extraction of the latex limits their growth. Its origins are in Brazil, but it has also been exported to Asia for commercial purposes.
The cultivation ofrubber tree can be considered sustainable: it does not require chemicals, water, and other attention from man. The plant grows spontaneously in a completely autonomous and natural way.
The only thing to watch out for is deforestation. In many cases, intensive farming creates serious damage to natural forests, which are "cut down" to make room for something more profitable for humans. An environmental problem already seen for the palms from which palm oil is extracted, and for the eucalyptus and beech trees from which the textile fibers are extracted respectively Lyocell e Modal.
Extraction of the Caucciù
The extraction of the caucciù it takes place mechanically and it is not necessary to cut down the tree, as only incisions are made on the bark. These incisions are made in such a way as to let the latex flow into special collection containers placed at the base of the tree. The manufacturing process begins with the extracted latex caucciù.
Vulcanization of the Caucciù (video)
The extracted and subsequently dried latex is not usable, it is rigid and has no elastic properties, but thanks to a process called Vulcanization it is literally melted and molded. The processing of caucciù it is complex and still very artisanal.
Il caucciù vulcanized it gains elastic properties and great resistance.
Vulcanization is a chemical process, even if it happens mechanically: the latex sheets are heated and bonded to the sulfur using chemical additives. A similar process is carried out to create passenger car tires.
Vulcanization is considered as an ecological production model only in some cases, while in others it is considered a harmful process for the environment.
This depends on the manufacturing company's working methods. The ancient methods of processing the caucciù they are certainly those with the lowest environmental impact, but the more modern ones, as often happens, are more harmful to the environment.
Characteristics of the Caucciù
The qualities of the fabric may vary based on its blending with other fibers. Example: with Elastan or Lycra you gain in elasticity.
|Does not shrink / discolor
The ecological characteristics of the fabric may vary based on textile certifications or blending with other fabrics.
|Natural - Artificial - Synthetic
|Natural raw material
|Recycled raw material
The certifications that can be assigned to the fabric, but which vary according to different factors: manufacturing company, fashion brand, blending.
|Global Organic Textile Standard
|Organic Content Standard
|Global Recycle Standard
|Second Life Plastic
|Fair Wear Foundation
This card can only be found on www.vestilanatura.it
What is the Caucciù?
The products in caucciù they are quite widespread, but the collapse in sales of this material has negatively affected small local communities made up mostly of farming families.
Thanks to his notoriety of resistant rubber, in the textile sector the caucciù it is mainly used to make shoe soles. Although there are few companies that use it, among these certainly those that have an eye for the environment stand out: prefer a natural rubber such as caucciù it is undoubtedly a more sustainable choice than using synthetic materials.
Use of the caucciù covers various sectors, for example you can create car tires, pipes, insulating materials and everything that can be made with a very elastic and resistant rubber. The uses of the caucciù they are therefore very varied, it is even used in the jewelery sector to create jewels such as bracelets and necklaces.
Shoes in Caucciù
The shoes with sole in caucciù they are not easily distinguished from those with a synthetic sole. Several Italian fashion brands use the caucciù, but perhaps it is not advertised much as an ecological material, yet it should, given the reduced environmental impact of this natural rubber.
Caucciù and allergy
The shoes have only the sole in caucciù and the inner sole avoids direct contact with the skin, at the moment however there are no problems of allergies, or reactions to contact with this material.
Being the caucciù a recyclable material is used in different ways, especially in the streets: asphalt, artificial bumps, traffic signs.
How do you wash the Caucciù?
The environmental impact of laundry detergents and household cleaners is devastating to our planet, so we highly recommend using ecological detergents.
Being a very resistant natural rubber, the caucciù it can be washed by hand or in the washing machine, and it is also possible to put it in the dryer. There are no particular washing contraindications for the caucciù, which can also be vigorously brushed to remove hostile stains.
Do you want to wash your clothes while minimizing water pollution?
- We have selected one of the most sustainable detergent and detergent brands click here to buy an ecological detergent
- You could use a Washing Ball to wash without using detergents click here to buy a washing ball
- You could use the nuovissimo Ecoegg, a nice ecological egg with which you can do about 720 washes click here to buy the ecoegg egg
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