After years of offering our extensive line of various Elf Ear styles in latex, Aradani is proud to be able to offer a majority of our ears in Latex Free Neoprene! Pourable Neoprene shares many characteristics with latex which allows us to offer our standard line of styles for the first time. For our customers who have a latex allergy, we definitely recommend our neoprene ears over our silicone ears.
Update: Now that we have been selling Latex Free Neoprene for a few years, we have some real world experience to share with all of our customers on how to best use these products.
Benefits of Neoprene over Silicone.
- Neoprene is easily paintable with standard Rubber Mask Grease paint.
- Neoprene sticks to most FX adhesives. We recommend using Spirit Gum as the best adhesive for applying both latex and latex free ears.
- Neoprene is easy to use, and can be applied and removed following our basic how-to tutorial.
- Unlike silicone, the Neoprene casting process is almost identical to casting in latex, allowing us to make almost our entire line of standard Aradani Elf Ears in Neoprene!
There are a few things to keep in mind about Latex Free Neoprene Ears.
- Neoprene should to be painted as soon as possible to prevent oxidation. Even a single layer of paint will help protect the surface of the ears from UV light.
- Neoprene Ears should be stored in an opaque box or container when not in use to reduce exposure to UV light.
- Neoprene continues to cure over time, becoming less flexible over their lifetime. Neoprene Ears don’t have as long of a lifetime as Latex Ears. This is a basic characteristic of neoprene and there is no way to prevent this natural reaction.
- Neoprene is a little more expensive than latex.
Because of these drawbacks, we only recommend our Latex Free Neoprene Elf Ears for those with a latex allergy.
The following information is from the supplier’s website:
- A water-based liquid Neoprene dispersion created especially for the special effects/creative arts industries.
- Non-toxic, non-hazardous and chemically inert.
- Made in the USA.
- Water, heat, oil, and solvent resistant. (It’s burn point is around 500 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Maintains flexibility while still holding shape over a wide range of temperature.
- Readily accepts all paints including acrylic.
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear, softening slightly with body heat.
- Latex free and virtually hypoallergenic. (Much less likely to cause skin reactions than natural latex).
- We powder all of our ears with 100% talc.
The History of Neoprene: Created in the 1930’s by organic chemists Wallace Carothers and Dr. Arnold M. Collins to replace natural latex for industrial and automotive applications, Neoprene’s chemical, oil, solvent and heat resistance made it extremely versatile and useful. During World War II, even though production had soared, the US military claimed all available Neoroprene for the war effort. By the 1950’s, DuPont had purchased a government owned Neoprene factory to keep up with the increasing demand. Today, after several formulaic improvements and a multitude of useful applications from wetsuit foam to automotive gaskets, over 300,000 tons are produced in the US alone.