It all started in the year 2004. It was in this year that the great Tour de France champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong sported a yellow wristband made of silicone rubber with the letters LIVESTRONG. Soon, this rubber wristband became a sensation and everyone was seen sporting one. Armstrong’s cancer-help foundation LIVESTRONG made a whopping #325 million out of the sale of these rubber wristbands! The LIVESTRONG yellow rubber wristbands were actually fabricated by Nike and designed by their ad agency Wieden-Kennedy. Even celebrities like rock artist Bono, Hollywood stars like Angelina Jolie, Robin Williams and even Senator John Kerry sported this yellow rubber wristband! The age of the rubber wristbands had begun.
Now it is the season for many more varieties of rubber wristbands. Red Kabbalah wristbands are worn by Britney Spears and Madonna. Hamsa bracelets are sought after heavily to ward off the evil eye. Aum wristbands are also the rage among the Hindus and Buddhists while the Chai bracelets are for the religious Jews. Whatever the season or reason may be, rubber wristbands have come to stay as a fashion or religious accessory and also as a brand or cause promotion item.
Having learnt the reasons for the popularity of the rubber wristbands, let us see how these rubber wristbands are made, shall we?
The Making of Rubber Wristbands
Rubber wristbands are very popular as they are easy to design, fabricate, customize and retail. This is why many start-ups and SMEs have started manufacturing rubber wristbands.
Rubber wristbands are usually made from a synthetic rubber material called silicone. Silicone is a polymer which has a chain of repeating elastomers called siloxanes. Silicone is a high-grade, top-performance polymer with many unique properties. It is heat-resistant and water-resistant. It is flexible and has good elasticity with rugged strength. It is long-lasting, durable and weather -roof. It does not fade in the sun. It can withstand a sufficient amount of pressure and is hence used as an engineering material. It is also safe to use as it is non-toxic and can be recycled easily. Due to its high elasticity and strength, it is used in making rubber wristbands.
The silicone rubber material is dyed in the colour required. Then, after the colour-dyeing process, it is extruded as tubes. These tubes are then moulded into the shape of rubber wristbands by compression-moulding. They are cut to the desired length and finished as rubber wristbands.
Rubber wristbands fit almost any wrist as they are pliable and elastic. They have a length of 7.5-8 inches. Their width is about half-a-inch.
The best feature of rubber wristbands is their ease of customization. Rubber wristbands can be designed, printed and die-cut into any shape. This makes them the most preferred promotional material for corporate companies and the first choice for event organizers.
Let us see the ways in which rubber wristbands are customized.
A design is chosen and a die is made with the letters or logo is stencilled in. Then using this die, the logo or letters are cut out on the rubber wristband. This type of rubber wristbands are popular among the youth and are used for gifting purpose. Stencilling the name of friends on the rubber wristbands is a great idea to make the gift personalized.
Here the rubber wristbands have the letters or logo printed on them in an elevated manner. The letters or logo is raised to a height of 2 mm on the rubber wristband by injection moulding.
Here the letters or logo are in a depressed manner on the rubber wristband. This mean they are dug-out or placed in a recessed manner on the rubber wristbands.
- Color Debossing
In order to add highlight to debossing, colours can be added to the recessed letters on the rubber wristband to make them more prominent.
With screen-printing, the letters are printed in contrast colours on the rubber wristband using a silkscreen. This type of rubber wristbands are most popular and easily available in the market. Since they are easy to fabricate within short notice, companies prefer to procure them in bulk for their brand promotion.
the attractiveness and appeal of the rubber wristband I due to it colour. Colour-dyeing is done before the silicone material is extruded. Manufacturers make single-colour, multi-colour, neon colours and rainbow-coloured rubber wristbands to cater to the needs of the audience.
Innovation is the key to the success of the rubber wristband. Eye-catching design like swirled shape, marbleized shape, zig-zag shape, etc, are available in the market to appeal to the masses.
Whatever the grounds may be, rubber wristbands are gaining ground and flooding the market. Used universally for gifting, event management, personal identification, charity and brand promotion, rubber wristbands have covered our wrist and conquered our hearts with its unique appeal.