Tape is an invaluable part of arts, crafts, and all sorts of repairs. However, this sticky helper has only been around for about 200 years. In that short amount of time a wide array of different types of tape have been invented.
Here are 32 types that you may or may not have heard of.
Types of Tape
1. Barricade Tape
Also referred to as construction tape, barrier tape, and caution tape, barricade tape is brightly colored to catch the attention of any passerby in a hazardous situation. The tape will often have a 2-tone alternating stripe pattern or with the words “Caution” or “Danger” in large lettering. It’s often used in construction settings or at crime scenes to allow detectives to do their work.
2. Bondage Tape
Used primarily in certain extracurricular activities, bondage tape has a surface that lacks adhesive but is able to stick to itself. This tape has uses beyond the suggested purpose, as it won’t damage fabric or fragile surfaces, but must be wrapped fully around the object to stay in place.
3. Cellophane (Scotch Tape)
One of the best-known types of tape, this common clear tape is better known by the brand names Scotch Tape and Sellotape. It’s used for crafts, office or school projects, and general household purposes.
4. Cloth Tape
Cloth surgical tape was invented in 1845 and has since found a variety of uses. The adhesive is on a thin cloth or fabric backing that’s both strong and easy to tear. Some versions of cloth tape are waterproof and used in plumbing, while others are used in crafts.
5. Decorative Tape
Any tape which has a decorative material counts as decorative tape. There might be patterns, glitter, or various other elements added to the backing.
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6. Double-Sided Tape
This common tape has a removable backing, leaving behind a surface with adhesive on both sides. It’s often used in crafts and home weatherproofing.
7. Drywall Tape
This reinforced tape is used to mask the seams between pieces of drywall. It’s flexible enough to allow the walls to breathe.
8. Duct Tape
Perhaps the most famous type of tape, duct tape is strong and waterproof. It’s used in a wide range of projects, both personal and professional. Major brands include 3M, Duck, and Gorilla.
9. Electrical Tape
While not the strongest, electrical tape is able to insulate wires and other surfaces. The tape is color-coded to signify its specific qualities.
10. Facing Tape
Used primarily to seal joints and seams on sheet metal ducting, facing tape adheres well even under extreme temperature conditions and humidity level. Its flexibility allows it to easily conform around irregular surfaces to provide a tight seal when airflow is involved.
11. Fashion Tape
This gentle but strong tape is used mainly by women. The tape won’t harm fragile fabrics and can be used to artificially to ensure loose clothing doesn’t slip. Commonly used in fashion shows or garments such as strapless bras.
12. Filament Tape
A very strong form of packaging tape, filament tape has fiberglass filaments running among the length of the tape, making it incredibly resistant to tearing. It is used for sealing packages or reinforcing various types of packaging.
13. Flagging Tape
This gentle tape comes in a range of bright colors. It’s designed to be torn and wrapped around trees or other features to aid in trailblazing.
14. Flash Tape (Holographic Tape)
This tape has a highly reflective surface that is used for protecting yards and gardens. When applied or simply hung around a garden or property, the tape catches and reflects sunlight, frightening away pests.
It’s commonly used to keep barn swallows from nesting on your home and preventing other birds from hitting your windows.
15. Floor Marking Tape
This tape is designed to handle a lot of abuse. It’s used to make markings on floors in place of painting. Floor marking tape is used primarily in warehouse settings.
16. Floral Tape
This kind of tape is used on floral arrangements. It’s a strong, stretchable tape that adheres to itself and is commonly used to wrap flower stems together, hide wires when making corsages, and other decorative uses.
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17. Friction Tape
Mainly used by electricians, friction tape is a cotton adhesive tape that’s sticky on both sides due to a rubber-based adhesive. It provides abrasion protection on electrical wires and cables but can also be used on tennis racquets, hockey sticks, baseball bats, and handlebars to help improve grip.
18. Gaffer Tape
This cloth-based relative of duct tape is mainly used by film studios and theaters. It’s easily torn by hand while still being very sturdy once applied. It can be used for both holding things together and marking directions.
19. Grip Tape
Available in a wide array of colors, grip tape has a textured surface. When applied to an object, it creates a stronger gripping surface and isn’t easily removed or damaged.
20. Magnetic Tape
Using a ferromagnetic coating instead of adhesive, magnetic tape was once the standard medium for recording audiovisual material. Computers dating back to WWII used reels of magnetic tape to store data the same way flash drives do today. Magnetic tape is also the technology behind VHS and cassette tapes.
As newer digital options have become available, magnetic tape has become less common. The material has an average lifespan of 20 years before data is lost, and exposure to magnets or long periods of storage can drastically reduce this timeframe.
21. Magnetic Label Tape
Not to be confused with regular magnetic tape, this version has a fully magnetic surface on one side. They’re used mainly in industrial applications for creating removable labels that adhere via magnetism, leaving no residue behind once removed.
22. Masking Tape
This ivory colored tape has a strong adhesive surface but is easily removed without damaging surfaces. It’s most commonly used to mask areas before painting to ensure there’s no bleed or uneven lines. Blue painter’s tape is a type of masking type but often slightly thicker and stickier.
23. Mounting Tape
A form of double-sided tape, this version has a foam core. As the name suggests, it’s usually used for mounting objects on walls or other surfaces with minimal risk of damage. Mounting tape is most commonly used for hanging pictures in apartments where nails are not permitted. Some versions have permanent adhesives for heavy-duty use.
24. Packaging Tape (Box-Sealing Tape)
Packing tape is mainly used for sealing packages, but it can also be used to bind objects together or temporarily seal items such as pill bottles. It’s much stronger than cellophane and is usually clear or a light brown color.
25. Pond Liner Seam Tape
This specialized tape is durable and completely waterproof. As the name implies, it’s used to seal tears in pond liners and swimming pools.
26. Security Tape
Also referred to as tamper evident or tamper proof tape, this type of adhesive tape provides a security seal for envelopes, bags, bottles, boxes, pallets, and shipping cartons. They are used to make sure the contents of the container are not tampered with during shipping or while in storage.
27. Speed Tape
Made of pressure-sensitive aluminum, speed tape is designed for use in emergency repairs. It can temporarily patch small damage areas on planes, racecars, and other vehicles until they can be properly repaired.
28. Spike Tape
Used mainly in theaters, This tape holds strong to surfaces but leaves no residue when removed. It’s used for marking prop and furniture locations, as well as actor positions during rehearsals.
29. Surgical Tape
This breathable, hypoallergenic, and pressure-sensitive tape is used in medical applications to hold bandages and dressings on a wound or incision site. It sticks to skin but allows for easier removal than other types of tape.
30. Therapeutic Tape
Known by many names, including kinesiology tape or simply K-tape, therapeutic tape is made of an incredibly elastic material. Proper use is supposed to relieve pain from a number of injuries, but there is some debate about whether the tape is actually effective or has a purely placebo effect.
31. Thread Seal Tape
More commonly referred to as Teflon tape or plumber’s tape, thread seal tape is very thin and used in plumbing applications to help seal pipe threads to prevent water leaks. Can also be used in sprinkler systems, central heating systems, and pneumatic systems such as when connecting an air hose to an air compressor.
32. Tie Tape
Used primarily in gardens, this ribbon-like tape is sturdy and resistant to weather. It’s used for tying plants to support posts or for directing the plant’s growth.