Silicon wristbands are certainly some of the most popular accessories nowadays, holding their popularity for a decade and counting, and spreading to all corners of the world. More and more institutions and establishments are using them as marketing tools or awareness items, such as for charities, foundations, stores, and schools. Almost everyone has one, or at least, has worn one. They’ve become so popular that they are now called “rubber jewelry”.
But how exactly are these colorful little pieces of rubber jewelry made? Silicon wristbands are actually relatively easy to produce, and a big part of the success of the wristband business comes from the fact that these wristbands are very easy to customize. The processes needed to make the bands are simple and efficient and could produce large quantities. Messages, colors, and sizes are all customizable depending on the person’s needs or the company’s agenda. The efficient production process leads to an efficient cost-to-price ratio. That, along with the potential for design modifications, created the growing market for silicon wristbands.
The first step in the process is choosing the material from which the silicon wristbands will be fashioned. Many companies choose to use a number of synthetic rubber materials to produce their bracelets, but most of the gel bracelets nowadays are made from silicone. Silicone is a bonded polymer substance, and it has qualities that make it ideal as a worn accessory: flexible and resistant to moisture. Silicone is an insulating material, which means that is also fairly resistant to heat, though UV exposure is harmful to it.
The silicone will then be dyed depending on the required color. After the dyeing process, the manufacturers would form strips or tubes of different sizes and thickness, after which the bracelet is formed through compression molding. This process causes the round-cross section of a bracelet. Most wristbands have a circumference from 7 to 8.5 inches, and since silicone bands are very elastic, these sizes can stretch and fit over most wrists.
The next step is the customization part. This is where the bands are colored and styled depending on the customer’s demands. Silicon wristbands usually have messages written on them, and the text used to display these messages can be imprinted on the bands using a number of different processes. The message can be debossed, which means the words are recessed into the bracelet using a mold. This style can have colored recession, called “colored debossed”. The words can also be embossed, which results in a different texture since this particular style raises the letter to a protrusion of 2 millimeters from the surface. The customer can also have their messages printed onto the bracelets through silk-screen printing. This can be used to print text on both the inside and the outside surface of the band.
In terms of customization, the manufacturers also must consider the color and the pattern design that the customer wants for his or her custom bracelet. As was mentioned, it is usually the pre-molded stock that are dyed, but it’s not necessarily a problem considering most manufacturers offer a lot of colors from which to choose. Single-color bands are the most common, but there are also multi-colored ones, and well as marbleized bands that have a swirled color effect.
The personalized, customized bracelets are now finished! The only thing that is left to do is to distribute them to the public. Aside from charities and support causes (like for natural disasters), companies are also known to have given their employees custom wristbands as part of team-building efforts. Fans have also been known to wear wristbands in support of their favorite teams or athletes. Regardless of the situation, manufacturers always seem to have new reasons to produce these wristbands. And it doesn’t seem like they’ll be stopping any time soon.