Latex pillow production processes
There are two manufacturing processes for producing latex pillows - the standard process and the Talalay process.
The standard process is very simple and there are 1000’s of factories around the world producing variations on this type of latex.
The Talalay process is far more complicated and the plant required is extremely expensive. There are only 5 factories in the world with Talalay capability - the biggest (Latex International) is located in the USA. Then there is Radium Foam in Belgium, who produce Talalaly blocks for mattresses, but do not have pillow moulds. The other 3 are in China, one of which is our partner factory. We have worked closely with this factory since it was commissioned in 2008. It employs world best practise and is state of the art. We think it is the best and this view is supported by the feedback and reviews we receive. The best quality natural latex we use is grown in Malaysia and shipped to our China factory in liquid form.
Sadly, there is no latex manufacturing at all in Australia.
- STANDARD PROCESS
MOST latex pillows (at least 90%) are produced by the standard, original process. This simply involves mixing the ingredients with a foaming agent and then cooking (vulcanising) to set – similar to baking a cake. This method was developed in the 1920’s by Dunlop (often referred to as the Dunlop process). The end product is long lasting and the pillows perform well. They are usually produced from a blend of natural and up to 70% synthetic latex to give the added strength that makes handling easier through the manufacturing process and reduce raw material costs.
- THE TLC NATURAL TALALAY PROCESS.
La crème de la crème!
- Very special moulds have to be built to each pillow shape. They are made from aluminium with a unique design of pinhole rods and an engineered valve for extracting the air. These moulds cost 10 times more than those used for the standard process.
- The all natural latex is mixed with air and whipped to create foam. The mould is then filled with a precise amount of latex foam – usually about a third full, depending on the weight and density (firmness) required. The air is then extracted from the mould creating a vacuum which distributes the foam and air bubbles evenly through the pillow shape. The mould and its contents are then shock frozen to -30 degrees C.
- The freezing creates cracks between air bubbles, linking them together to form an open cell structure.
The mould is then warmed and carbon dioxide and oxygen added to widen the links between each air cell.
As the mould gets hotter the latex gels, further setting the open cell structure.
Heating is increased to 115 degrees C. expanding the links and air cells further, then vulcanising the pillow. The pillow and its properties are now set.
Each pillow is then thoroughly washed through a number of cycles to remove odour. Pillows are gently and thoroughly dried in airing ovens for 6 - 8 hours.
Pillows are then aired in a dark ventilated room for at least 72 hours.
Developed by Leon Talalay, the end result is a far superior pillow with a uniform, open cell structure that allows the pillow to breathe and is long lasting. Talalay latex pillows are 3 times more breathable and 4 times more durable than Dunlop process latex pillows.
At TLC we are proud of the fact that we supply only the very best 100% natural latex pillows that money can buy.