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What is Gauze Tape?

By Maya Austen
Updated Jan 24, 2024
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The word "gauze” refers to a type of strong but light open-weave fabric made of either silk or cotton, woven together using a plain or leno style weaving technique. “Tape” is a thin strip of cloth, paper or plastic material coated with an adhesive. It’s used to temporarily or permanently fasten or seal something or multiple things together. It might seem logical for one to conclude that gauze tape is a type of tape designed for use with gauze material, but it’s not. Gauze tape is actually just self-adhesive gauze — gauze that sticks by itself.

What makes this tape different from other forms of tape, such as transparent tape and duct tape, is the type of material which serves as the base for the adhesive. Duct tape uses a cotton mesh material coated with polyethylene plastic as a base for its adhesive. Gauze tape uses gauze material as a base for its adhesive.

This type of tape has many applications. One of the better known applications centers on first aid use, because this tape is often used as a wound dressing. Gauze tape is also frequently used as a sports wrapping. For example, tennis players sometimes wrap the tape around the grips of their rackets; hockey players sometimes wrap the tape around the grips of their hockey sticks; and baseball players sometimes wrap the tape around the gripping portion of their bats.

When gauze tape is used for this purpose, it serves as an over-grip. It allows athletes to maintain a better grip on their rackets, sticks, bats or other equipment. In addition, handlers in industries such as meat processing and mail handling sometimes wrap this tape around their fingers for protection.

There are different types and classifications of gauze tape, each with different properties and different applications. Texture, tackiness, stretchiness and even sterilization are just a few of the properties attributable to different forms of this tape. Medical tape, for instance, must undergo sterilization to ensure that it is free of germs. One form of such sterilization is ethylene oxide sterilization. Ethylene oxide sterilization is a process that effectively eliminates viruses, bacteria and other transmittable agents using ethylene oxide gas, along with precise humidity and temperature settings.

Gauze tape comes in many different colors and grades of thickness. Although gauze as a material has been around for centuries, this tape is a 20th-century invention. The word “gauze” is the English translation of a French word, “gaze,” which dates at least to the 16th century. The name is derived from the Palestinian city of Gaza, where gauze is believed to have originated.

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Discussion Comments
By fify — On Sep 07, 2014

Veterinarians use gauze tape for animals all the time when they are recovering from an injury. If regular tape is used, it will have to be cut off along with the hair. Or it might hurt the animal and the animal might try to remove it himself or herself. Gauze tape seems to be safest in that regard. My sister uses it for her horses all the time. She even uses it on the hooves to protect the hooves.

By ddljohn — On Sep 06, 2014

I agree that it's better to call this product a self-adhesive gauze because when we say tape, most people think of sticky tape. Most gauze dressing actually is not adhesive so it has to be fixed with the use of tape or a gauze roll so that it stays in place. It's normal for people to think of that.

The self-sticking gauze tape discussed here actually doesn't stick to skin at all. It sticks to itself. So it can be wrapped in any which way and it will not stick to skin and cause discomfort or further injury. Aside from sports, I actually think that this is a good product to use over wound dressing because it causes no discomfort and is very easy to remove. For those who have to change their dressing every day, or multiple times a day, this is the best way to do it.

By fBoyle — On Sep 06, 2014

Thanks for that fact about where the word "gauze" comes from. I had never heard of that. That's very interesting.

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