How is Neoprene fabric made?
Neoprene is a synthetic petrochemical material that originally was manufactured from petroleum and oil-based chemicals. In the manufacturing process natural chloroprene is converted into synthetic polychloroprene through free radical emulsion polymerization. On a molecular level, these two substances look very similar but have different attributes. This is done by putting all the chemicals together to convert into rubber-type chips.
For the production of neoprene fabric, usually the textile industries receive polychloroprene in liquid form. To increase elasticity and make other properties prominent, liquid polychloroprene is combined with additives like foaming agents. Then the mixture is mixed and then an industrial oven is used to bake it. The resulting hardened chloroprene rubber is called a “loaf’. According to different widths, this loaf is then sliced into different chunks using a large industrial machine. Though there are a variety of thicknesses of neoprene available but the average thickness of neoprene is around 3-5 mm. It is said that the insulative and waterproofing properties of neoprene fabric increase with its thickness.
These slices of neoprene are then sent to different apparel manufacturing industries and other industrial industries. Apparel manufacturers used these slices to trace and cut patterns on them for different clothing items like wetsuits, accessories, etc. After which sewing industrial sewing machines are used to sew these patterns into different clothing items.
Automobile manufacturers used these neoprene slices to make products like seat covers, window covers, etc. Likewise, different industries make different products from these slices. Some industries also apply Waterproofing or fireproofing spray over these slices to increase the property of the final end product which are then packed and shipped to different retail shops.