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Gaffer tape (also known as gaff tape, camera tape and spike tape) may seem like duct tape but it has its own unique qualities. Gaffers tape is a variant of a duct tape, designed for a niche industry. Utilized by production crews in the motion pictures industry, television production, concerts, and live performances, to tape down cables and other temporary set-ups. Gaffer tape is designed for short term usage so when removed, it does not harm whatever it is adhere to and does not leave sticky residue behind, as does duct tape. Even after a lengthy duration, gaffer tape is neatly removed. The rubber adhesion baking of duct tape cannot withstand high heat so it softens and melts, leaving residue when removed. Gaffers tape can endure heat of at least 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Gaffer tape is manufactured in many other colors but is usually in matte black so it blends well with normal stage or black cables of film and television cameras. Designed with a rough matte finish, it does not reflect light on to other surfaces therefore, it does not alter lighting in production shoots and gaffer crews can grip equipment and props even with sweaty hands.
What is Gaffer Tape made of?
Gaffers tape is true cotton cloth tape with a matte finish and synthetic adhesive that holds strong but comes up clean. Gaffers tape is durable, waterproof and can be torn by hand. Due to its cloth design, gaffer tape can cut without scissors, be torn lengthwise to create thinner strips or crosswise to make smaller ones. It does not bond on rough vinyl plastic, or on dusty and dirty surfaces. It will free from skin when you perspire.
Why does Gaffer Tape cost more than Duct Tape?
More expensive than duct tape, Gaffers tape is priced three to four times that of a roll of duct tape of the same length; this is because it is designed for a niche industry, it is produced in smaller volumes, and it demands a specification that makes it easy to tear and to remove cleanly.
Uses of Gaffers Tape:
Often gaffer tape is used to fasten cords and wires concealing them from the view of a theatre audience or of a camera lens or to the floor for safety. Thin strips of colored gaffers tape are also used as blocking indicators for actors. Also, it can be used when an immediate unplanned solution is needed, from briefly fastening equipment or props to repairing a broken production fixture.
Convention centers and hotel's audio-visual production teams extensively use gaffers tape to hold down cables to platforms and stands.It is an indispensable product for any videographer and to production rental companies.
Other Uses of Gaffers Tape:
Provide black edges to tables, chairs, and other props.
Soften clattering noises of shoes on stage.
Secure props on shelves in a moving set.
Label cameras and camera
Prevent lens flickering in the backdrop.
Correct light streaking through a camera's viewfinder by taping gaffers tape over it.
Mark on stages where lights are to be aimed.
Secure radio microphone belt packs to the actor's back.
Fasten the positions of microphone stands.
There are a whole lot of uses of gaffer's tape in various sectors and it depends on the user's creativity and resourcefulness to take advantage of its capabilities.