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What’s Gaffers Tape Used For?

Gaffers Tape and Its Uses

Gaffers tape may look pretty similar to duct tape but it has its distinct qualities. Gaffers tape is variant of a duct tape designed to be utilized by production crews in television, motion pictures, concerts, and live shows, to tape down cables and other short-term set-ups. This type of tape is designed for temporary usage so when removed, it does no harm to whatever it is applied to and does not leave any residue, as duct tape does. But even after a lengthy duration, gaffer tape is neatly removed. The rubber adhesion of duct tape cannot withstand high heat so it softens and melts, leaving residue behind when removed.Gaffers tape can endure heat of at least 93 degrees Celsius.

It is made of cloth and can be torn lengthwise to create thinner strips or crosswise to make smaller ones even without scissors or other cutting tools for precise application. It does not bond on rough vinyl plastic, or on dirty and dusty surfaces. It will free from skin when you perspire.

Gaffer tape is manufactured in other colors but is usually in matte black so it blends well with a normal theatre stage or black cables of film and television cameras. The rough matte finish does not reflect light on to other surfaces so it does not affect lighting in production shoots and crews can grip equipment and props even with sweaty hands.

Gaffers tape is priced three or four times the quantity of a spool 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

More often than not gaffers tape is use to fasten wires to conceal them from the view of a theatre audience or of a camera lens or to the floor for safetyThin strips of colored gaffers tape is also used as blocking indicators for actors. It is also used when an immediate unplanned solution is needed, from briefly fastening equipment or props to repairing a broken production fixture.

Audio-visual production teams in convention centers and hotels extensively use gaffers tape to hold down cables to platforms and stands. It is essential for any videographer and to any production rental companies.

Other Uses of Gaffers Tape

On stages, using black gaffers tape can provide black edges to tables, chairs, and other props; it can be used to soften clattering noises of shoes on stage; and it is used to fasten props on shelves in a moving set. Photographers utilize the tape to label cameras and camera accessories and to avoid lens flickering in the backdrop. Remedy light streaking through a camera’s viewfinder by taping gaffers tape over it.

For lighting crews, gaffers tape can be used to mark on stages where lights are to be aimed and to nail a piece of cloth to a wall for a headshot background. Some sound crews use gaffers tape to fasten radio microphone belt packs to the actor’s back; other sound crews use gaffers tape to secure the positions of microphone stands. Chroma green screen tape is also similar to gaffers tape, it is used for compositing or keying. It is a cloth based tape with a special green or blue color used against a screen for visual effects. 

There are a whole lot of uses of gaffers tape in various sectors and it depends on the user’s creativity and resourcefulness to take advantage of its capabilities.

How to Tape Down a Cable

Try these tips for quick and easy cable taping

1. Stretch your cable out across the area where it will be taped down.

2. After pulling the cable straight, tape across each end with a short length of gaffers tape to hold it in place (if the distance is long, you might want to add a couple of strips along the cable.

3. Now go back and tape the cable(s) down by pressing tape around the cable and onto the floor, using tape lengths of about three feet at a time.

4. Cable runs with multiple cables can be taped using wider tape, instead of multiple pieces of tape.

5. Choose a gaffers tape color that matches your stage floor or carpet to make the cable virtually disappear.

Added Safety with the Addition of Cordsafe

The CordSafe cord connectors are a perfect solution to creating a safe, long lasting connection. The CordSafe connectors take several different sizes of plugs and cords.

For more information on Cordsafe, email us at: or

First Light Inc.

245 W. Roosevelt Rd

BLD 3 STE 20

West Chicago, IL. 60185


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