Book repair tape, also known as book binding tape and occasionally referred to as bookbinder’s tape, refers to several different kinds of tape used in preserving and making repairs to books and other paper publications. It comes in a variety of sizes and thicknesses and is used for several different purposes. Acid-free and/or archival quality tape is available in a variety of styles as well, and some include pH specifications in their descriptions.
Linen Tape. There is also a linen-backed white tape known as book repair tape. This tape is generally archival quality and is used for hinging. Some linen tape is gummed, while other styles have adhesive — sometimes called self-adhesive — backing. Also, some linen tape has center perforations so that it folds easily. Another use for this type of tape is to replace the hinges of the swell flap mechanisms on reed organs, but using hot glue, rather than the gummed adhesive backing, is recommended.
Paper Tape. This type is specifically meant to aid in repair of pages. It can mend page edges that have been damaged or reattach torn-out pages. It can also be used on unbound documents.
Transparent Tape and Film. One sort of book repair tape is a clear polyethylene tape with a glossy finish, available in rolls of various widths. This flexible tape can be used to repair torn paper covers, to reinforce spines, and to protect paperbacks and magazines. There is also transparent film available that has two special qualities — it can repositioned for about four hours, and the peelable backing is marked with a grid to make accurate measurement easy.
Vinyl-coated Cloth Tape. Vinyl-coated cloth tape in colors to match or contrast with the binding is used to reinforce book spines, and comes, like other self-adhesive vinyl covering products, on a peel-off liner. Fluorescent vinyl-coated book repair tape is also available, as is poly-coated cloth tape. Any of these can also be used for color-coding files, storage boxes, or other items.