The Rubber Boot Process
Rubber is a durable material used in everything from surgical gloves and tires to the boots we make here at Western Chief. It’s admired for its durability, stretchiness, and ability to waterproof just about anything. These attributes make it an excellent compound for a variety of applications. Ever wonder where it comes from and how we transform it from its most basic form into our beautiful rain boots? The process is less complicated than you might think!
Natural rubber latex, or just rubber, is collected by creating slits in the bark of a rubber tree. The sap that is drawn from these slits is sticky and milky in texture, and collected in a bucked where it is allowed to harden.
The rubber is then processed by removing excess water and mixing it with other materials, creating our rubber compound.
The rubber sheets are hung to dry.
These dried sheets are stacked, compressed, and sent to factories.
Through another process, a print will then be applied to some of these latex rubber sheets. All of the sheets are then wrapped around a boot form known as a last. This process is done by hand.
The boot materials are melted together in something knowns as a vulcanizer. What comes out in the other end are our beautiful boots!