Tape - How it's Made

Tape was originally invented in 1845 by a doctor who used it to cover a wound on a patient. Though this doctor is often not credited with being the inventor of tape. This doctor originally created tape by putting together cloth with adhesive.

How is tape made? Tape consists of a pressure sensitive adhesive coated onto a backing material such as paper, plastic film, cloth, or metal foil. Some have a removable release liner which protects the adhesive until the liner is removed. Some have layers of adhesives, primers, easy release materials, filaments, printing, etc. made for specific functions.


Watch the video below to see how modern day tape is made!

Although Dr. Horace Day was the first to put fabric and adhesive together to make "tape", Richard Drew of the 3M Company is often the person credited with inventing tape. The tape that Richard Drew was working on, was invented to help the automotive industry with a painting issue they were dealing with. Since then the uses for tape have rapidly expanded, and so have the options.

With so many varieties of tape out there, how can you be sure you're using the best product for your application? Here are some things to consider when choosing the best tape option:

  • Weight of package
  • Stability of contents
  • Value of package contents
  • Length & width of package
  • Storage Environment
  • Strength of package or box
  • Method of Shipping
    • Single Box
    • Palletized

Fun Tape Fact: The first hand held tape dispenser weighed nearly 7 pounds! It only took a few years for 3M to introduce the iconic "snail" design for tape dispensers.

What else is tape good for?
Art of course! Check out what one artist creates with packing tape...