Natural Rubber Erasers
The Daler Rowney Mystic Eraser is made from India rubber, harvested in the form of latex by tapping trees. Natural rubber erasers are flexible and soft, meaning they are useful on delicate papers and canvases. Natural rubber degrades with time, and will perish unless it is vulcanised.
Before the invention of vulcanisation to cure rubber and make it a feasible material, people used rolled pieces of white bread to rub away mistakes or lighten markings on their work.
Synthetic Rubber Erasers
Synthetic rubber erasers are the most commonly used erasers for day to day correction and are probably the 'rubbers' you remember from school. They come in a variety of shapes and colours, and are almost always the type of rubber you find attached to the end of your pencil.
Soft Vinyl Erasers
Soft vinyl erasers, also known as plastic erasers, are more specialised for removing light marks and for precision erasing. They are soft and non-abrasive, making them less likely to damage canvas or paper and erase cleaner in small areas than standard synthetic rubber erasers.
Modern examples of vinyl erasers include the Pentel Clic Eraser Pen, a refillable eraser holder which retracts the eraser tip. This concept has been taken further by companies like Jakar and Derwent who make a battery operated eraser tip, that spins inside the handle to allow for precision corrections.
|The Derwent battery operated eraser|
Kneaded erasers, or putty rubbers, are the artists choice when it comes to graphite, charcoal and soft pastel removal. The texture of a kneaded eraser is similar to gum, and can be manipulated into any shape required by the user. This type of eraser does not wear away and crumble like others do because drawing dust is picked up and absorbed into them. The rubber will eventually reach a point where it becomes saturated with debris and begin to make marks rather than remove them. Kneaded erasers are available in different levels of hardness, ranging from the super soft to very firm.