What are Fabric Bandages?

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  • Written By: Pamela Pleasant
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2019
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Fabric bandages are made with flexible stitched fabric and these types of bandages are used primarily in areas where there is a bending joint. If there is an injury to the elbow, knee, or fingertip, a conventional plastic bandage may not adhere or cover the wound due to movement. Wet conditions can also cause a plastic bandage to come undone. The fabric bandages are water resistant and they also stay in place even with movement. Loose stitching fabric also allows air to circulate around the wound for a faster healing time.

While typically used to cover minor cuts or abrasions, sometimes elastic fabric bandages can be used to cover a wound following a surgical procedure. They adhere to the wounded area and they are extremely soft, so they will not cause any added discomfort. Until the wound fully heals, the elastic bandage will hold firmly to the skin. This can be beneficial after cosmetic or plastic surgery. Fabric elastic bandages come in a variety of sizes to accommodate the wound and they can also offer protection from ultraviolet (UV) sunlight.


A fabric type of bandage has a stitched covering. Under this covering is an adhesive, which adheres to the skin. In the middle of the bandage, there is typically a loosely stitched gauze material. This material covers the wound and offers added protection until it fully heals. The gauze material is usually dry and sterile, but a few brands of bandages add an antibacterial ointment into the gauze for added protection against bacterial infections.

Some types of fabric bandages are not used to cover wounds but to offer support for sprained or aching joints and muscles. They are used to put pressure on these injured areas and to reduce the flow of blood. This can also help to reduce inflammation or swelling around the injured site. When a bone fracture occurs and a splint is applied to the area, fabric bandages are used to keep everything stable. Splints are typically used until the inflammation is gone, when they are replaced by a cast.

Veterinarians use these fabric bandages more often than plastic bandages because animals are very active and can easily remove a convention bandage. The same thing goes for pediatricians, who work with small children. Elastic bandages are also used for a cosmetic procedure called a body wrap, which helps to eliminate excess water from the body for added weight loss.


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Post 4

My dog has had fabric bandages before. I believe that these are the only kind that have the power to stay on even if he chews on them.

The bandage looked like long strips of gauzy material wrapped around and around his leg. He had gotten stitches after injuring his paw, and the only way to let the wound heal and keep him from biting at it at the same time was to use one of these bandages. The bandage wasn't affected when he licked at it and got it wet, either.

The fabric sticks to itself, so it won't come off unless you actively pull at it. Once you are ready to remove it, you just start at the exposed end and slowly unwind it, and it comes off with no problem.

Post 3

I wonder how it would feel to be wrapped up in a fabric bandage in an attempt to lose weight. I've heard good things about body wraps, and people I know say they have lost inches off their bodies in just one session.

I believe they are mostly losing water weight, though, because the fabric bandage causes them to sweat a lot. Once they rehydrate, the weight might come back.

I don't know if I could stand to be wrapped tightly and sweating, but if it made me lose a few inches, it might be worth it. I just wonder if I could keep the weight off once I drank some water!

Post 2

@Perdido – I guess it depends on the quality and type of fabric bandage you are using. I had a fabric bandage put on by a doctor, and it didn't come off when it got wet.

Post 1

It seems to me that those cheap fabric bandages you can buy at any store come off so easily whenever they get wet. Mine only stay on through a couple of hand washings if I have them on my hand. They fall right off without me even touching them.

If the wound is on my hand, then I have to use a waterproof plastic bandage. Otherwise, I will be replacing it every time I wash my hands.

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