A rubber band (in some regions known as a binder, an elastic or elastic band, alackey band, laggy band, lacka band, or gum band) is a short length of rubber and latex formed in the shape of a loop and is commonly used to hold multiple objects together. The rubber band was patented in England on March 17, 1845 by Stephen Perry.
Rubber bands are made by extruding the rubber into a long tube to provide its general shape, putting the tubes on mandrels, curing the rubber with heat, and then slicing it across the width of the tube into little bands.
While other rubber products may use synthetic rubber, most rubber bands are primarily manufactured using natural rubber because of its superior elasticity.
Natural rubber originates from the latex of the rubber tree. Natural rubber is made from latex which is acquired by tapping into the bark layers of the rubber tree. Rubber trees belong to the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) and live in warm, tropical areas. Once the latex has been “tapped” and is exposed to the air it begins to harden and become elastic, or “rubbery.” Rubber trees only survive in hot, humid climates near the equator and so the majority of latex is produced in the Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.