How Rubber Wristbands Are Made

In 2004, Lance Armstrong wore a yellow rubber bracelet on his wrist and began a worldwide craze.

What started in 2004 continues today as nonprofit organizations across the world build awareness for their causes with rubber bracelets. Sometimes these bracelets feature text only and sometimes the bracelets feature four-color images.

What many don’t know is that these wristbands start as hollow tubes of rubber. These tubes are then cut into individual bands.

FotoFlex bands allow a full color image to be printed on a wearable wristband without stretching. How is it that rubber can serve as a canvas for an image?

At Alliance Rubber, all of our Ad Bands-printed production begins the same way. We start in the factory. Much like making a loaf of bread, you first mix up the dry ingredients — color and additives —  then, the “active” ingredient, sulfur. The ingredients are heated and mixed until they reach 250 degrees.


The mixed ingredients are then dropped as a 500 pound ball onto a giant rolling pin called the mill. The mill cools and rolls the dough out into sheets which are then split into strips.

rubber strip

Each strip is fed into an extruder that pushes the dough out in a tube form, like a very long garden hose. This tube is then heated, rinsed and cooled.

how rubber wristbands made

The rubber tubing is then primed for optimum ink adherence on the way to the imprinter.

rubber tube flatten

In a matter of seconds, the tubing is imprinted with four-color digital graphics and the ink is cured.

printed rubber

After printing, the tubing is quickly cut into individual wristbands before being dropped onto the conveyor belt

Rubber wristbands featuring digital images allow you to turn your design into a mini-billboard for maximum promotional effect.

promo wristbands

Wristbands are custom printed to a client’s exact specifications. At Alliance, we want to make sure the image looks exactly as the client has requested. We place faces, logos and many other images on wristbands, so the quality control process is absolutely vital.

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