How Are Menstrual Cups Made?
I’ll start by saying I don’t know for sure…. this is really just me thinking out loud 🙂 but lately I’ve seen a few photos of menstrual cup molds, so I think I understand the basic idea of how they are made… so because I found that interesting, I thought I’d share that with you too. If anyone knows more about this than I do – please feel free to comment and let us know!!
I’m sure we’ve all noticed that some cups have seams on the sides, and some cups don’t. One cup company told me that they were using a different type of mold so that they didn’t get a seam. There have also been a couple of cups produced in a “half and half” colours. Early on, She Cup brought out a pink/purple cup (photos here) and lately there was a pink/black cup spotted on Alibaba
So this precise division of colour for the pink/black cup, and the fact a lot of cups have side seams seems to suggest that some cups are made in 2 halves. In this case, 1 half has black silicone and the other half uses pink. The SheCups were made from similar colours so the difference isn’t as striking and there seemed to have a little more blending in the 2 colours and the line where the 2 colours meet is also not vertical. So these may not have been made in the same way.
A couple of AliExpress lisings have shown cup molds, and the Fleurity video shows another type of cup mold. Basically it seems that the cup molds have 2 parts – something that forms the shape of the outside of the cup and something that fills up the space that will be the hollow inside of the cup – and the silicone is inserted between the parts to form the cup.
Looking at this mold above (from here), it appears that this would make the cups that are made in 2 halves and probably have a side seam. I presume that the bottom 2 pieces (that form the shape of the outside of the cup) are fitted together, and the top piece (that forms the inside of the cup) inserted between those 2 halves. There does appear to be small channels around the mold, and this may be where the liquid silicone is injected into the mold.
If you look at this picture of cups that still have leftover silicone from the molding process (found here), you can see there are some darker/thicker lines, which may have been from channels like I theorised, where the silicone was injected into the mold. These obviously get removed from the cup before they are sold to customers, so it is interesting to see a photo of this stage of the process!.
This mold is shown in the Fleurity video. Again it shows the cups would be made in halves and likely have a side seam. It would seem from looking at the mold, that the part we can see on the right that has the metal pins poking out of it, would fit over the part on the left, so that those pins fit into the holes we can see on the part on the left. This would ensure the mold fits together properly. When the 2 parts are sandwiched together, those shiny cup shaped pieces would form the hollow inside of the cup. As there appears to be no channels for the silicone to be injected into this mold, so I do not know how it would be filled, unless it is done via that centre part with the handles…
This mold (found here) makes cups that would not have a side seam. The pieces on the right appear to be the mold for the entire outside of the cups as one piece and the pieces on the left would flip over and fit into those bottom sections to form the inside of the cups. You can again see the pins on the corners of the mold to make sure the 2 parts are correctly fitting. There are again lines on the mold that may be channels for injecting the liquid silicone into.