In descending the Western Ghats of India after a stay in the spice centre of Kumily, we happened across a number of rubber plantations and with interest piqued we asked to stop to investigate further. I’d never seen anything like this and to be honest, never really knew how we ended up with rubber, just that there was a rubber tree. In cutting the bark of the rubber tree, which is typically done once the tree is around 7 years old, a viscous latex sap is syphoned off into a vessel. In order to preserve its quality the latex is sieved and ammonia added. The latex may then be coagulated in suitable containers into thin slabs of coagulum and rolled through a set of smooth rollers followed by a grooved set and dried to obtain sheet rubber.
While there are other methods this is the process that we were talked through by a proud supervisor, as detailed in the gallery below. So nice to see employees taking a real pride in their work.