The Elastic Forest

    Description of the contents
     Incision of the trees
    Incision of bark is made in the night, when the fresher temperature allows the latex to flow more efficiently. The latex is then collected inside small containers obtained from coconut nuts.

     Picking and Filtration
    At the sunrise, the latex is collected from the nuts. The family in the video will get an amount of about 60 litres of latex each time. A simple pile of straw is used as rudimental but still efficient filter, which retains impurities and coagulated latex.

    The latex is coagulated by addition of formic acid, then immediately poured into small box-shaped moulds. After 20 minutes, the latex is turned into a perfectly thick and elastic mass.

     Compression and Desiccation
    The farmer steps repeatedly with his bare feet on each forms of coagulated latex to flatten them as much as possible. Successively, the flattened forms are passed through a couple of smooth cylinders, which compress the mass enough to give them the shape of a sheet. Then, the sheets go through a second couple of cylinders, which in this case are ribbed. The ribbed cylinders require much more energy to further reduce the thickness of the sheets. The sheets so obtained are finally left to dry for about two days before the final storage.