Adhesive tapes fall into two primary categories – elastic and non elastic.
Non elastic adhesive tapes usually come in cotton and/or polyester and have a zinc oxide adhesive mass backing. Due to their lack of elastic properties, they are less suited than elastic tapes on highly contoured parts of the body such as elbows and shoulders. The most common color is white and the tape is usually available in widths of 0.5 , 1, 1.5 , 2 and 3 inches and in lengths of 10 to 15 yards.
Elastic adhesive tapes (known as stretch tapes) come in 1,2,3 and 4 inch widths by 5 yard lengths. They are usually manufactured from twisted cotton with an adhesive backing. These tapes have the advantage of being able to conform to highly contoured areas of the body while providing the same support as their non elastic counterparts.
The number of longitudinal and vertical fibres per inch in the backing of an adhesive tape is an important factor in the assessment of its overall quality. Speaking generally, a high quality tape will have 85 or more longitudinal fibres and 65 or more vertical fibres per inch. A high quality tape will also possess a greater amount of adhesive backing and an even and fluid tension during removal from the roll.