Counterfeits are a big problem, especially in e-commerce. Items manufactured in China and branded with designer labels lead to billions in lost sales for legitimate manufacturers.
“Fake” gaffers tape may not actually be counterfeit, but once you’ve bought a roll of it off of Ebay or Alibaba, you might be tempted to call it that.
Tape that is sold as gaffers tape but that is not made with woven cotton cloth is not real gaffers tape. If it is sold that way, then it is similar to other counterfeit goods.
Tape that has a low quality organic adhesive may not be fake tape, but after you finish cleaning the adhesive residue off your cables and your stage floor, you can be forgiven if you feel like you have been sold a fake.
There are lots of tapes that look like gaffers tape and which perform a lot of the tasks that gaffers tape is used for are out there. If you want to make sure you get the real thing, stick with well known manufacturers names and make your purchase from trusted vendors.
People in theatre, video and film know that spike tape is a valuable tool for making sure that performers, props and set pieces end up where they belong.
Spike tape is simply gaffers tape cut to a narrow, half inch width. Since it is available in 20 colors, it can be used to mark locations for different actors (you stand on the red mark while she stands on the blue) as they move through a scene.
Those who study theatrical history know of the legend where spike tape got its name.
In the days of Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre, the actual floor of the stage was dirt. In order to lay out specific locations on that stage, the director would actually put spikes into the ground to show the actors where to stand.
We’ve been selling a product called tie line for a long time. It is used by lots of theatrical and special events production companies for tasks like drapery hanging, bundling and cable management. It is also known by the name “trick line” because its matte black color means that you can’t see it on a darkened stage or against a black backdrop. Its handy for all sorts of special effects.
There’s not really a lot that can be done to improve this braided
cotton cord. Or that’s what I thought until we received our first
shipment from a new supplier for this product. For years, the tie line
we sold had been wrapped on cardboard spools. I have used this product a
lot myself over the years, and it seemed like before the tie line was
gone that the spool had ripped, collapsed, or completely disintegrated
through rough handling and packing into road cases and tool boxes.
This new tie line supplier had spooled their product on a heavy-duty plastic spool and
it works much, much better. The spool can stand up to rough handling,
sweaty palms and a little rain on an outdoor event site. The product
is the same but it is now offered in a much better package.
This new vendor is also supplying us with new smaller 300 foot spools, so now you can buy a spool that will fit in your tool box or under the seat of your truck. No need to lug around a lifetime supply if you only need a small amount.
If you need tie line, but aren’t sure whether to buy the glazed or unglazed version, here’s a little info that might help. If you intend to tie and untie the knots over and over againg (say, for cable ties) use unglazed. It does not hold a knot as tightly. If your use is for something more permanent (e.g. tying a drape onto a truss or batten) use glazed. Knots tied with glazed time line remain tightly bound over a long period of time.
I never cease to be amazed at how a simple change in packaging can dramatically change the way I look at a product.