There is no denying that rubber and silicone wristbands had been around for quite some time now.
This accessory had been used for different purposes all over, whether to support a cause or to compliment one’s outfit. At one point, it even drew controversy with the rumour that it was also used for sexual acts.
However, as the years go by and the appeal of the rubber bracelets dwindling, there are still people who were able to come up with different variations of these wristbands.
What used to be just something people only stack on their wrists is now able to bring out one’s creativity through the popularity of the silly bandz and the loom bands.
On one hand, the loom bands do not really need much explanation as it was very popular in the recent years. However, how it came to be is rarely asked.
The loom bands is the brainchild of Cheong Choon Ng and gained popularity after his invention of a miniature loom, hence its name.
This is where the silicone or rubber bands are weaved to turn into the rubber bracelets that seemed to be loved by many, something that is surprising as the generation today mostly put all their time and money on technology.
Cheong Choon Ng first had the idea when he saw his daughters making bracelets out of rubber bands and it reminded him of his childhood. Wanting to show his daughters that he can do the same, he eventually developed the plastic loom where the silicone bands can be weaved through to make a loom bracelet according to how the creator wants it to look like.
One of his daughters soon suggested that this can be a good business idea and Ng decided to take a chance. Numerous colours can be chosen from and there are guides and tutorials on how to make different variations and designs of the bracelet.
On the other hand, there was also a silicone bracelet that gained much popularity but was the hype was gone quickly.
Before the rise of loom band making, however, there were colourful rubber bracelets called silly bandz. While the loom bands gained its popularity because of the possibility of making different variations through the plastic loom, its predecessor attracted consumers because of its different shapes.
When worn, it may look strange since it does not settle in a simple circle around the wrist, not like the usual bracelet. However, when taken off, the different shapes and colours of the bands is enough take a second look and buy your own pack. Children and adults alike were giddy over these bracelets.
The idea originally came from a Japanese design team, Yumiko Ohashi and Masonar Haneda. Their goal was to show people that rubber bands should not be easily disposed of or ignored, thus turning them into fun shapes. Years later, Robert Croak encountered these rubber bracelets while on a trip. He decided to repurpose and improve these shaped rubber bands and the rest was history.
There was a time when these bands were banned from schools because some teachers said that they caused a distraction among students.
There was even a report on a student almost cutting off their circulation with these bracelets.
Both trends eventually stepped out of the limelight. While the loom bands are still fresh on some consumers’ memory, the silly bandz are rarely heard of now, except maybe in some book stores and craft stores.
These bracelets got their appeal through both design and versatility. The different designs and combinations one can make from these bands and the different colours stacked up can surely draw anyone’s attention.