Here at Libidex we specialise in making clothing from latex – also known as rubber. It’s a bit like the stuff party balloons or condoms are made from, except the latex we use is a special fashion latex, which is thicker, stronger, better quality and has a very glossy shine.
Don't confuse latex with PVC, leather, plastic, Neoprene, Lycra, Spandex or other similar materials. ALL our clothes are made from pure, natural latex sheeting.
Latex clothing comes in a great variety of styles – including latex catsuits (all-over body suits), latex stockings, latex hoods, latex dresses, latex jeans, latex underwear, and even latex belts and braces! But what’s latex like to wear – and why do people like wearing it?
A lot of latex clothing is worn skin tight – just like a second skin – though some styles of latex clothing – such as latex jeans or latex shirts - are looser fitting, like normal fabric. Latex clothing makes you look – and feel – great! It’s very sensual – almost enhancing the feel of your own skin – and its stretchy tight fit flatters any figure. You can polish it and shine it up to a high-gloss finish with our own Libidex latex polish RadicalShine, in combination with our latex silicon spray RubberGloss - a truly amazing effect!
Latex clothing is often worn at clubs and parties and as fancy dress – and is often worn in combination with leather boots, leather harnesses, leather masks and so on.
Latex clothing – even in this modern age – is made by hand, and is a real craft. No machines are involved, just hand-tools, and making a latex garment can take some time!
At Libidex, we offer two services for you to use when buying latex garments: Made-to-Order and LatexEXPRESS.
On our Libidex Made-to-Order site, you can have any latex garment from the complete Libidex range made for you personally, and you can choose any of the wide range of options available to customise your garment. Making your order normally takes about 3-4 weeks and can take up to 6-8 weeks during busy periods such as sales, but if you want your latex faster than that, you can use our Rapid Order Service – and have your order made up in a matter of days.
Or, if you prefer to see your latex clothing before you buy it, why not drop in to our boutique Liberation in London's vibrant Covent Garden, where you’ll find a wide selection of Libidex latex clothing, friendly, helpful staff, and the opportunity to try things on and get the right look for you!
Black is by far the most popular colour for latex clothing, but Libidex latex clothing comes in a range of over 60 different colours and colour combinations – and you can have any of them if you buy your latex clothing from our Made-to-Order range (our off-the-peg LatexEXPRESS range offers a more limited selection of colours, but one that is always changing!).
All Libidex latex clothing is manufactured from sheeting supplied by Radical Rubber – our sister company, which manufactures high quality fashion-style latex sheeting in Malaysia (where the best rubber comes from!).
Once you’ve got your latex garment, take a bit of care when putting it on! It’s not quite as easy as slipping into your jeans, but the effort’s certainly worth it. It’s best to either dust your body with some talcum powder or rubbing on a bit of lube such as PJUR Cult Dressing Aid first – this makes it a lot easier slip your latex on, since it otherwise tends to catch the skin. And don’t worry – latex is very stretchy and strong – so it won’t tear unless you make a hole it in (so watch your fingernails!!).
Latex is a natural material – a bit like leather – and so it does need a bit of looking after. The main rules are: keep it regularly cleaned and polished using a proprietary cleaner or polish such as RadicalShine; keep it away from direct sunlight or moisture; and don’t let it get into contact with metals such as copper, which can stain it. But looked after properly, latex clothing won’t rot or perish and can last you for years!For more information go to our Latex Care and Repair page.
Some people are allergic to latex, and if you do have an allergy you should avoid contact with it. For the technically minded, the latex sheeting we use to make our latex clothing – Radical Rubber - has an Extractable Protein Level within medically accepted tolerances. The factory at which Radical Rubber is produced also manufactures latex for medical purposes and conforms to the governing international standard ISO/EN 13485-2003 for Class 1 medical devices. It also has to conform to American FDA (Food & Drug Administration) and many other international medical standards. Our production process involves extensive leaching of the sheeting to reduce as far as possible allergenic proteins in the latex. Most other latex sheeting used for garments does not conform to these standards, and could sensitise you if you are prone to latex allergies. Being sensitised just once can result in your becoming allergic to any latex products. In our experience, many people who believe they have a latex allergy are actually allergic to the talc they are using: wherever possible, use medical-grade unscented talc with your latex, or a silicone oil-based dressing aid such as Cult/Pjur.
Today, latex is mostly produced in south-east Asia, having been imported there from South America by the British in the 19th Century. We manufacture our latex sheeting – Radical Rubber - in Malaysia, which produces almost 20% of the world’s natural rubber, and is the world’s third largest producer. Altogether, Malaysia has 1.7 million hectares of rubber. Malaysian rubber goes to every country in the world and is recognised to be the best.
Latex sheeting can be produced in a number of ways – for small amounts, liquid latex can be poured onto a sheet of glass and allowed to dry. Colours and various colouring effects can be achieved by adding pigments to the liquid latex before it is poured out. However for larger volumes of latex sheeting, a process is used employing a long conveyor belt onto which the latex is slowly poured, then cured in an oven, leached to remove allergenic proteins, and finally dusted with talcum powder and turned onto rolls. Different thicknesses of latex sheeting can be created by varying the speed of the belt.
Latex can deteriorate if left in warm, humid conditions, or following prolonged exposure to light. It needs regular cleaning and polishing to keep it in good condition. Latex clothing needs a certain amount of care and attention.
In nature, latex is a slightly off-white substance, which when made into latex sheeting appears slightly yellow and translucent. Pigment can be added to the liquid latex to achieve various different colours and effects, however it can sometimes be difficult to replicate exactly the same colour every time, due to variations in the colour of the natural latex (which can be due to how old a batch is, when it was collected, which plantation is came from and so on). Colours – especially light ones – will deteriorate somewhat with age.
Technically speaking, latex is the milky fluid found in 10% of all flowering plants, but particularly in the rubber tree Hevea Brasiliensis. Latex is a complex emulsion that coagulates on exposure to air. It is collected from the rubber tree by making a cut in the tree’s bark. The tree then exudes the rubber (normally early in the morning) and it is collected in a pot strapped to the tree to catch the oozing latex.
Latex is also used to mean natural latex rubber - particularly non-vulcanized rubber – which is used for products such as latex gloves, latex condoms and latex clothing. In reality today people tend to use the words ‘rubber’ and ‘latex’ interchangeably, but we prefer to call our products ‘latex’ clothing to make it clear that they are made from pure natural latex.
Radical Rubber latex sheeting comes in seven different thicknesses – 0.25mm, 0.40mm, 0.50mm, 0.60mm, 0.70mm, 0.80mm and 1.05mm. There is a slight tolerance in thicknesses of +/- 10% 0 so for example 0.50mm latex may vary in thickness between 0.45mm and o.55mm – but in most latex garments this is not noticeable. Different thicknesses of latex are used to make different sorts of latex garments – and in some cases we use the technique of 'doubling' - i.e. sticking two layers of latex together – to achieve extra thickness for items of latex clothing such as corsets. A slinky, sensual pair of latex stockings for example might be made from our thinnest gauge, 0.25mm; while a tough, chunky pair of latex Jeans come in our thickest gauge 0.80mm. Most items such as latex Catsuits, latex Dresses and latex Shirts are generally made in a medium gauge, 0.40mm.