Some fascinating facts from the Vita Talalay SleepBlog post on 100% natural rubber latex
Christopher Columbus is credited with “discovering” natural rubber latex in 1493 while in Haiti, where he noticed people bouncing a rubber ball made from the milky sap of a native tree, Hevea brasiliensis.
Columbus brought rubber tree specimens back to Europe, and eventually the tree was successfully cultivated and farmed not just in its native South America, but in Southeast Asia and Africa.
An important rubber discovery took place centuries later in 1839 when Charles Goodyear developed the vulcanization process which stabilizes rubber by making it nonreactive to temperature change. His discovery was revolutionary and led to the widespread use of natural rubber for everything from raincoats to pencil erasers.
In rubber tapping, the optimal daily yield from a single mature tree is 150 ml, or 7 ounces.
The white sap spoils quickly, much like milk, and must be quickly stabilized and poured into sheets for drying or stored in canisters and shipped to a latex foam pouring facility.
Read the entire Vita Talalay SleepBlog post, “The Royal World of 100% Natural Rubber Latex” and check out the cool infographic “From Seed to a Vita Talalay Mattress.”