Cloth tape is an adhesive tape made with a cloth backing or core. The use of cloth makes the tape especially durable and rugged, and promotes flexibility, which can be valuable for certain projects. There are a number of different styles of this on the market which can be used for a variety of purposes. Hardware stores and specialty suppliers often stock several types of cloth tape, with the capability of ordering more as requested by customers.
Some cloth tapes are pressure-sensitive, which means that they are designed to adhere with pressure, not with an adhesive. These tapes are useful in projects where things need to be held together without leaving residue behind. Others can use a variety of adhesives, along with coatings which make the tape waterproof, fire-resistant, or otherwise distinctive.
In the medical world, cloth tape is often used for bandages, as it will bend and flex with the body, and pressure-sensitive dressings can be used to gently cover injuries. It is also used to secure intravenous lines, ventilation tubes, and other medical equipment in place, and it may be used to tag surgical scrubs and other equipment, since it is readily available and easy to mark up with pens as needed.
In crafts, cloth tape is used in bookbinding, sewing, and many other tasks. Special archival tapes are low in acid so that they will not damage the paper and fabrics that they come into contact with, while sewing tapes can be designed to be permanent, for the purpose of tagging and marking garments, or temporary, to hold a seam in place while it is sewed or for a similar task.
Construction workers use cloth tape to seal up walls, while electricians rely on it for basic rigging tasks. Duct tape is a form commonly used in heating and ductwork, while gaffer's tape is famous in the electrical community. Plumbers may also sometimes use such products for specific projects.
A range of colors are available, from classic unbleached white to hot pink. Some people like to use color-coded cloth tape as a marking tape, while tapes with special finishes may be suitable for particular environments. Plumber's cloth tape, for example, is often waterproofed.