Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Radical Rubber cheaper than latex sheeting produced in Europe or America?
Because we manufacture in Malaysia, we do not have the high running and labour costs associated with Western economies. We can also buy our raw materials locally, and often, at better prices. In addition, our shipping costs are lower since we import the finished article (sheet latex) into the UK, while Western-based manufacturers have to import their raw materials in the form of liquid latex, 40% of which is water needed to keep the latex liquid during transit. This increases the weight and volume of the cargo and hence transportation costs. We also strive to keep the UK arm of the operation as small and cost-effective as possible, without compromising customer service!
Is Radical Rubber manufactured ethically?
Malaysia is a well developed country where most of the population enjoy a relatively high standard of living. There are laws to protect workers - especially children - against exploitation. All staff at our partners' factory enjoy clean and healthy working conditions, are paid the going rate for their job, and are given all breaks and time off as required by local law, plus paid holiday. The raw material used in the manufacture of latex sheeting is liquid latex, which is collected from local rubber plantations. It is a 100% renewable resource. No toxic chemicals are used in the production of Radical Rubber.
Is Radical Rubber medically safe? Will it give me an allergy if I wear it?
Radical Rubber has an Extractable Protein Level within medically accepted tolerances. The factory at which Radical Rubber is produced also manufactures latex for medical purposes and conforms to the governing international standard ISO/EN 13485-2003 for Class 1 medical devices. It also has to conform to American FDA (Food & Drug Administration) and many other international medical standards. Our production process involves extensive leaching of the sheeting to reduce as far as possible allergenic proteins in the latex. Most other latex sheeting used for garments does not conform to these standards, and could sensitise you if you are prone to latex allergies. Being sensitised just once can result in your becoming allergic to any latex products. In our experience, many people who believe they have a latex allergy are actually allergic to the talc they are using: wherever possible, use medical-grade unscented talc with your latex, or a silicone oil-based dressing aid such as Cult/Pjur.
What is Latex Allergy?
Natural Rubber Latex (NRL) is an integral part of thousands of everyday consumer and healthcare items. The proteins contained within NRL can cause allergic reactions to Latex. More than 40,000 products used in homes, schools and medical settings contain latex, including common items such as: condoms, rubber bands, balloons, surgical and examination gloves, clothing elastic, etc. Latex allergy, or hypersensitivity, occurs when the body's immune system reacts to proteins found in NRL. Some individuals have specific antibodies, called IgE antibodies, that make them hypersensitive to the proteins in NRL. Although we take great care to use latex sheeting that has been leached to a high level, to remove the proteins to a legally acceptable standard, the onus is on you the consumer to ensure that you do not have this problem prior to purchasing or wearing latex clothing. Please note, that in 10 years of selling our latex sheeting we have never received any complaints of allergy caused by our latex.
What glue should I use with Radical Rubber? Does Radical Rubber supply its own glue?
Radical Rubber can be stuck with most glues suitable for latex. These include white latex-based glues, as well as solvent-based glues - the actual brands vary from country to country. Seams should be cleaned with thinners before sticking. Radical Rubber sells both water (RadicalGlue) and solvent (RadicalBond) based glues. RadicalBond may be purchased from our Trade Counter at 3 Saint Albans Place in London between 10.00-17.00; Mon. - Fri. Our RadicalGlue is SUITABLE FOR EXPORT - so we are able to ship it to anywhere in the world and you can buy it on our online shop and it is also available from our trade counter.
I sometimes see what seem to be water marks on the surface of Radical Rubber - what causes these, and are they permanent?
These marks are mainly caused by our leaching process to reduce allergenic proteins in the latex (see question 6), which involves passing the latex through a bath of water. They are not permanent and can easily be removed using polish or cleaner. Other marks can be caused by uneven talcing, but once again these can be removed by polishing.
Naturally we recommend our own polishes, Radicalshine White and Radicalshine Blue which is similar in content to the blue cleaner sometimes known as 'Pervoshine'. Practically any other polish or cleaner suitable for latex can be used to clean Radical Rubber, and of course you can also use silicone spray to achieve a high gloss finish. Sponging down the gloss side of the material to remove the talc applied to let the sheet separate on the roll, during storage, often makes a considerable difference to the polish and shine achieved.
We have two options for polishing your latex garments. These are the RadicalShine White at £7.50 (£9.00 w/VAT) and the RadicalShine Blue at £11.95 (£13.80 w/VAT). The advantage of RadicalShine White is that, because it is white, it doesn't stain light coloured zip fasteners and the like. The RadicalShine Blue is easier to apply and dries a lot quicker than the White. Both work well with our rubber but if you're looking for an easy to apply polish, you should go for the RadicalShine Blue.
Can I get Radical Rubber in a heavier gauge than 0.8mm?
Yes, we offer 1.05mm (equivalent of 0.040/0.045") gauge in Black, Red, Royal Blue, Translucent Smoky Black and Translucent Natural. We will gradually be producing other popular colours in this thickness. We can produce any or our colours in this or any other thickness upon request but a MoQ of 100 metres will apply.
Is Radical Rubber available in widths greater than 1 metre?
No - we do not have the machinery to produce widths greater than 1 metre and the demand for wider latex rolls for the fashion industry is not sufficient to justify the investment in such machinery. Some manufacturers produce wider rolls because they also supply industrial customers; whereas Radical Rubber aims to be a specialist producer exclusively for the fetish fashion industry.
Can I order less than 10 metres of Radical Rubber?
Yes - we have no minimum order, and you can buy as little as 1 metre from us. We do however make a surcharge of 50% per colour or per thickness for orders of less than 5 metres. This is to cover the cost of making up small orders, which involves cutting rolls, and the wastage this creates. However, even with the surcharge, we are still substantially cheaper than many other sellers on the Internet.
Can I add to an existing order?
Please call us on +44 (0) 1787 378 229 quoting your order number to check if your order has been processed and dispatched. If it hasn't, you may add to your existing order.
Can Radical Rubber produce a customised colour?
We can offer this service but production completion times may vary according to how busy our production plan is at the time of the order. Any customised colour will be subject to a minimum order of 300 metres, but these can be in different weights, e.g. 50 metres in 0.25mm, 200 metres in 0.40mm and 50 metres in 0.50mm. We'll start by making a small swatch sample in our lab and start production once the colour sample is approved. We should be able to produce and deliver a customised colour order within 6 to 8 weeks.
Can I get garment labels or logos printed on Radical Rubber?
We can produce labels or logos printed on bands of latex 15cm wide, in most colours and with a choice of printing inks. Minimum order is 30 metres. Please ask us for details or click here for more information.