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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 gauze 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 gauze 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 gauze 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 gauze 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, gauze 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.