A balloon can put a smile on both the young and the young at heart. It’s one of the most popular decorations for any type of celebration, from birthdays to baby showers and high school dances. Different types of balloons include Mylar® and latex. Each type has specific qualities that can work perfectly with your themed décor.
Mylar polyester film, from DuPont Teijin Films, has been around since the early 1950s. Mylar has multiple uses, from electrical applications to magnetic media and packaging, and as a material to create unique, fun balloons. Mylar balloons are often referred to as “foil” balloons. They feature an airtight material that helps keep helium gas from escaping. Because the material is nonporous, a Mylar balloon holds its shape longer than a latex balloon, which typically deflates in 24 to 48 hours.
Ideal for shaping, a piece of Mylar can be cut in the form of a popular cartoon character and imprinted with the full-color image of that character. These balloons can be designed for any occasion with shapes such as baby bottles for baby showers, wedding bells for a bridal shower, and Mylar birthday balloons shaped as cakes.. You also can find small Mylar balloon picks to add to floral arrangements and centerpieces.
The modern latex balloon was invented during the Great Depression by a chemical engineer in New England. The engineer had been attempting to create inner tubes from a new product called liquid latex and accidentally invented what we now know as the latex balloon. Latex is porous and also stretches and thins when inflated. Helium inside a latex balloon eventually escapes through its porous surface, usually in 48 hours or less.
Latex balloons are the preferred balloon for a balloon drop. Balloon drops, popular on New Year’s Eve, at high school dances and even at weddings, can be created easily with a balloon drop bag. Most party planners who create balloon drops for clients use a mixture of sizes, so the balloons fall at different speeds for a truly magical display.
It is also best to use this style for a stunning balloon arch (great for a photo prop), to create columns that accent a party backdrop, and when putting together a balloon bouquet complete with yards of colorful curling ribbon tails.
Other types of balloons
Mylar and latex are not the only balloon options. Today, you can also find eye-catching light-up balloons that have been fitted with LED lights or small glow sticks. These are a fun addition to an outdoor party, dance or New Year’s Eve party. Bubble balloons are not latex but a type of plastic that stretches and is see-through. These balloon types resemble the look and feel of a beach ball and can last for up to four weeks when properly inflated.