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Time to tap(e) into your sticky side (puns intended). This is probably one of those rare times when you’re consciously thinking about the tape. And here I am, writing blog posts on it. So welcome to Tapes R Us.
Articles like safety pins, staplers, tape, and so on are things we take for granted. But not anymore… today’s star is adhesive tapes. I’m here to give it the attention it deserves by explaining all the different types of adhesive tapes.
Here’s Presenting, The Different Kinds of Tape:
1. Duct Tape:
Everyone, every single person knows what duct tape is because it’s basically the superman of tapes. There are very few things it can’t repair. It was created for HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) uses. Household and plumbing repairs are where it’s called for the most, but it is even used in some industrial applications.
Also known as duck tape, it is very strong and sticks as if its life depends on it. Some of its kinds are even waterproof.
A lot of industrial or contractor-grade duct tapes are weatherproof and temperature resistant. But the flip side is that it takes off layers of paint or coating off walls so be a little careful about where you use it. Generally gray, you also see it in Hollywood movies where kidnapped people are bound with it.
Duct tape is now available in several colors and you can use it for several things, even cool DIYs. It’s also super cheap, you can buy it online or at any hardware store easily.
2. Masking Tape:
This one is for all the budding artists out there…
You know that very annoying thing where your paint bleeds into the borders and it looks like you’ve colored out of line? Yeah, that. That’s what masking tape prevents. It’s made of paper and you can line your canvas, paper, scrapbook, walls or whatever with it to ensure clean art.
You can use it for labeling containers or boxes too and stick stuff on walls (it doesn’t damage walls when taken off). People use masking tape to seal boxes as well. It comes off easily and is available in different adhesive strengths as well as colors.
You might want to choose a reliable brand while buying masking tape because sometimes it is very thin and the tape shreds when you try to pull it off.
3. Strapping Tape:
If Packing Tape got a PhD, it would be strapping tape (or filament tape).
It’s the Hulk of tapes and is comprised of fiberglass filaments which make it strong. You can’t tear it with your hands, you’ll need a scissor or cutter. Its primary use is packaging boxes, palletizing, and reinforcing couriers (securing bundling). Strapping tape does not stretch or sag when applied. It’s available in a variety of sizes and is resistant to moisture and scuffing.
4. Invisible Tape:
We start by finding it (lol).
Aka Scotch Tape. If you’ve clumsily torn an important document, project or letter, it’s to the rescue. Also known as transparent tape, it fixes tears without covering anything written. You can generally write on it too so it’s ideal for making notes.
It has a strong adhesive (unless it’s marked ‘removable’ for easy pulling). It comes with a dispenser in most cases to make tearing easier. Some types are even compatible with scanners and copiers. Another good quality is that it doesn’t yellow with time. You can get the tape in a matte finish or glossy finish.
5. Surgical Tape:
It went to med school.
It goes easy on your skin and is found in first aid kits and hospitals all over the world. Medical tape comes off easily and it’s used to dress wounds, hold bandages, or secure tubes. It also prevents infections and allows the skin to breathe through the dressing.
It goes easy on the skin and does not contain latex. There are versions of medical tape available that are made of paper and absorb moisture. You can use it to prevent blisters by wrapping it on your fingers while riding a bike too.
6. Packing Tape:
The boxes’ best friend and protector. Either transparent or brown, packing tape has a tough adhesive. Its utility lies in its name- it’s used for packing things when they are shipped or in storage.
When moving houses, it’s used to seal the box flaps. It’s also called box sealing tape and is 2 inches wide. You’re going to need a sharp blade to cut this heavy-duty tape. If you have trouble getting the right size of the tape, remember that one yard is 36 inches.
7. Electrical Tape:
Or insulating tape is self-explanatory. Its job is to insulate electric wiring to prevent short circuits or fire hazards. It’s traditionally black but now it’s colored varieties (phase tapes) are used to mark voltages.
The type of electrical tape you buy depends on your voltage range. It’s also super stretchy, flame retardant and waterproof. You might want to buy electrical tape that has been inspected and approved by a product testing organization such as UL.
8. Double-Sided Tape:
A chance to stick stuff on both sides.
You can paste it on most surfaces and use the other side to hang streamers, posters, photos, etc. Double-sided tape is also used for scrapbooking, sealing envelopes, crafts, projects, and wrapping gifts. It can connect objects without being visible or damaging the wall like nails might.
However, permanent double-sided tape is also available. You even have a thicker foam version of double-sided tape. Foam double-sided tape can be used to give a 3D effect in crafts.
9. Floor Marking Tape:
It guides you across the floor.
It finds its home in factories, godowns, and warehouses where it’s used to indicate specific zones, aisles or exits. You even find it in airports where it demarcates areas and gives you directions. It’s that yellow and black striped tape you see.
There are other colors, however, in accordance with official guidelines. Since people walk all over it, it has a very strong adhesive to hold its ground (hahaha). It is even used on dance floors, gyms, and athletic courts.
10. Friction Tape:
This used to have electrical tape’s job but got replaced. Fortunately, the world of sports accepted it with open arms. It’s wrapped around bat and racket handles (or any handles) for a good grip. It gives texture to smooth surfaces, which in turn helps with the grip. This is why we also know it as grip tape. It’s still used to insulate cable splices.
11. Drywall Tape:
The cracks or seams in drywall sheets are covered with drywall tape. Then they are covered with spackle for an even surface. The flexible variety (without sagging) allows movements in the wall without any damage to it. Since it’s used to correct cracks and seal joints, it’s also called joint tape.
You might want to purchase drywall tape which is mold resistant. While applying it, however, make sure your drywall is dust-free. The most common width is 2 inches.
12. Painter’s Tape:
A very close cousin of masking tape, to ensure neat wall painting or any painting. When two colors are to be painted side by side, the painter’s tape is used to prevent bleeding or smudging. It doesn’t damage surfaces when pulled off and is available in various adhesive strengths.
13. Carpet Tape:
No it’s not made of carpet (wow that’s a bad joke), it’s used to connect the carpet to the floor. We apply it under our carpet (or rug) and on edges to prevent any sliding. Hence, it’s double-sided. Get carpet tape which is resistant to moisture to keep that mildew at bay.
But wait. You’ve also got carpet seam tape that connects carpet to carpet or strengthens carpet borders (prevents fraying) by seaming them.
14. Self Amalgamating Tape:
Let me put it this way- this tape practices self love and can’t get enough of its own self. It insists on hugging itself to an extent that it’s called self-infusing tape. Its hugs are warm and it’s great at insulation.
It doesn’t have an adhesive and sticks to itself when wrapped around anything. It is used by plumbers to fix leaks, electricians, and aviation too.
Oh yes, it’s also waterproof and reusable.
15. Holographic Tape:
That’s the one which looks like a disco ball.
If you’ve got birds ruining your garden by pecking away at your flowers or fruits, worry not. Its reflection will shoo the birds from coming nearby and your garden will be safe and sound. However, you can also use it for crafts because it is so pretty.
16. Gaffer Tape:
A very important member of the film, photography and TV industry, gaffer tape is used for binding cables and repair. Black is the most popular color but there are other shades available. Black is ideal for use as it is not easily visible on camera.
It’s resistant to heat and doesn’t leave any gum residue when pulled off. And the good part is that it’s easy to tear off by hand.
17. Security Tape:
We don’t want anybody messing with our stuff, do we?
Security tape or tamper-resistant tape tells us whether any parcel or shipping has been opened. They are used to seal boxes or are applied over already packaged goods. Most tapes reveal hidden messages such as ‘VOID’ if the tape is tampered or breached. With the advance of technology, some security tapes feature barcodes and RFID chips.
18. Kinesiology Tape:
It’s for your body.
Kinesio tape is used to cure muscle pains and is very stretchy. You tape the problem areas (actually you don’t, your chiropractor does) and it works it’s magic by providing support. It’s very breathable and waterproof. One application lasts for 3-4 days.
Athletes often use it during races or marathons and physical therapists use it to treat injuries. Studies claim that it also reduces swelling. It’s also called elastic therapeutic tape. Pre-cut kinesiology tape is available online.
19. Lingerie Tape:
Let’s keep those wardrobe malfunctions at bay…
It holds fabrics in place by sticking them to your body. Deep neck dresses, flimsy clothes, etc will stay put. It is double-sided in nature. This tape is ideal because unlike safety pins, it does not damage the fabric. It’s also called fashion tape, cleavage tape or body tape.
You should get fashion tape which is hypoallergenic to avoid skin rashes. If not a roll, you can also buy strips of lingerie tape.
20. Speed Tape:
It looks a lot like duct tape but really isn’t. Speed Tape provides temporary solutions to aircraft or motor repairs. However, this solution isn’t permanent.
Since it has to face high speeds and harsh weather on airplanes, it’s very strong. Some of its varieties are designed to be water and fireproof. It’s also called aluminum foil tape or aircraft tape.
21. Decorative Tape:
So pretty I can’t even.
Any tape that is vibrant, colorful, patterned or glittery- in short, contributes to the aesthetic of the world- is a decorative tape.
Use these for projects, scrapbooks, DIYs, decoration, festivals, birthdays, home decor and what not! You’ll be surprised at the vast number of designs they’re available in. It’s possible to beautify the simplest of things with decorative tape. Decorative tape is called Washi tape and is generally available in a set of rolls.
22. Mounting Tape:
The easiest way I can put it is this- it helps you hang stuff. It’s a given that it’s double-sided. Now as per your changing needs, you may buy mounting tape in different sizes, strengths, and forms.
It can be removable or permanent. It’s just more hassle-free than nails, bolts or screws are. Another plus is that it’s available for both indoor and outdoor uses. A foam version of mounting tape is also an option.
23. Pond Liner Seam Tape:
Isn’t it awful when your carefully maintained pond starts leaking? Isn’t it even worse when the sealant you get requires long hours of prep and application… If only you had an easier way…
You do! The pond liner tape fixes leaks and cracks in a minute. No prep, no complicated process, just a tape. It’s your waterproof, adhesive hero which is also quite stretchable.
24. Gecko Tape:
A tape inspired by the upside-down walking gecko. Gecko tape contains synthetic fibers (like gecko feet) which makes it ultra-sticky and ultra-strong. It can carry heavy loads and is still in the works because researchers want to make it the boss of all tapes.
25. Hockey Tape:
So there are two kinds of hockey tapes: stick tape and shin tape.
The former is used for better grip on the hockey handle and the hockey stick for protection from damage through contact with other sticks. It’s also used in the lower part- the blade, to improve contact with the puck.
Shin tape, on the other hand, is used to hold socks in place during a game. Nobody wants their socks sliding down while playing. This avoids injuries.
26. Paper Tape:
It’s made of paper. Obviously. Obviously. I’m referring to Kraft Paper tape, not to be confused with masking tape.
Easy to tear (by hand) and write on, paper tape is used for sealing envelopes, pack cartons, scrapbooking, projects notes, or crafts.
Did you know that the US Postal Service has approved Kraft for packing?
27. Spike Tape:
All the theatre actors pay attention!
Spike tape is used to mark the setting on the stage. Where the armchair goes, the table, oh what about the doorframe? It’s used for precise stage setting and direction.
The reason we have a special tape for this is that it doesn’t leave behind glue on the stage.
28. Wound Closure Tape:
When wounds are serious but not major enough for stitches, wound closure tape comes in. It’s easy to remove, doesn’t scar and prevents infection. They function by keeping the skin together and protecting the injury.
29. Floral Tape:
Very underappreciated. What do you think holds all those bouquets and corsages you use? Floral tape! It’s used in wrapping and organizing flowers and leaves together. It’s made of cloth fibers and is available in colors that blend in like beige, olive or brown. Floral tape is very easy to tear and cut.
30. Tear Tape:
If regular tape went on the Atkins diet, it would become tear tape.
You know the little tape which helps you open biscuits or detergent boxes in one go? Yeah, that’s tear tape. It facilitates the easy opening of consumer cartons. It also has a high tensile strength.
31. Flagging Tape:
It is used for leaving a trail or demarcating an area. Hikers tape hallmarks on their route to make finding the way back easier. It’s incredibly bright (generally comes in neon colors) and catches the eye. It’s also light and easy to tear. So the next time you go hiking, do yourself a favor and get this tape. We don’t want you getting lost.
32. Facing Tape:
The temperature can’t defeat this one. The resistance of facing tape to snow and sun is the next level, making it ideal for ducts. It’s also moisture resistant and flexible. It’s also called FSK Tape (Foil, scrim, and kraft).
33. Tie Tape:
If you’re a home gardener, this tape is what you need. Anyone who has a home garden will need to keep their plants together. To stop them from growing all over the place, tie tape is used. It binds them together without damaging them and is weather resistant. Flexible and strong, it’s perfect for your plants and flowers.
34. Magnetic Tape:
A magnetic tape is used to stick objects to any metal surface. It has a whiteboard surface on the other side for making notes. It’s perfect for labeling!
The other magnetic (recording) tape is used for audio and video recording. It’s sold in circular reels in cassettes. Too old fashioned nowadays, it’s been replaced by CDs but some old hearts still use it in the entertainment industry.
Phew! That was a lot of information to process. Remember to read all the instructions carefully on your tape box to avoid any mishaps. Don’t end up taping yourself!
I hope I’ve cleared any and all tape related queries. So go forth, the world is yours to tape!