A general treatment is given of the methods to be used in other parts of this series for calculating the degree of chemical crosslinking in natural rubber vulcanizates from stress–strain measurements in extension and from equilibrium volume swelling measurements. Corrections are required for the presence in the vulcanizate of appreciable quantities of particulate solids or soluble diluents and for the introduction of foreign atoms into the rubber network. For this purpose distinction is made between the rubber vulcanizate, the rubber matrix, the rubber network, and the rubber hydrocarbon component of the network. Expressions are derived, in terms of these concepts, for the Money-Rivlin parameter, C1, measured on vulcanizates which have undergone various treatments.