Natural latex has a fairly coarse surface at a microscopic level, leading to a fair amount of friction and drag. The process of chlorination bonds chlorine molecules to the outermost layer of latex molecules, creating a micro-smooth surface. Besides reducing friction, a micro-smoothed surface is also shinier, hypoallergenic, and more resistant to staining. Because of the reduced friction, donning a garment made of chlorinated latex becomes extraordinarily easy. Chlorinated latex gear will slip on and off effortlessly and slide layer over layer without any need for lubricant or talc. In fact, we discourage the use of lubricant with chlorinated latex since coating the micro-smoothed finish adds drag. However, this is a personal preference.
The benefits of this reduced friction also extend to storing latex products. Sprinkling talc is unnecessary since the micro-smooth latex won’t stick to itself. By making the latex hypoallergenic, chlorination offers a double advantage. First, chlorinated products can be tolerated by those sensitive or allergic to natural latex. Second, it prevents the development of latex allergies as a result of repeated exposure to the allergens over a prolonged period of time.
Chlorinated latex does have its downsides, however. The micro-smoothed surface offers a challenge should future repairs become necessary, and repairs must be done by a reputable latex artisan who knows the importance of carefully scoring the latex before gluing. If you choose to repair your latex products by yourself, pay extra attention to the scoring process so that the glue bonds properly. One other (possible) drawback to chlorinated latex may be that chlorination causes latex to lose its characteristic scent. If the aroma of latex is a turn-on for you, chlorinated products might not fit your bill.