What Is Gaffer Tape?

Gaffer tape is a flexible, durable all-purpose tape most commonly used for stage productions and film sets. Also called gaffa, gaff, gaffer’s, and spike tape, gaffer tape is an indispensable tool for television production sets, stage labeling for theater, equipment repair, concert venue marking, and videography or photography sets. Reinforced gaffer tape sticks easily, provides clear visual cues, withstands foot and equipment traffic, and removes clean—without leaving residue behind—when no longer needed.

Gaffer Tape in use on stage

What to Look for in Gaffer Tape

Gaffer tape should be strong and durable, easy to cut and place, provide a strong adhesive bond, and remove without leaving residue or damage behind. Some gaffer tape is repositionable, and some styles even offer weather-resistant qualities for use in outdoor filming locations. When choosing gaffer tape, consider what options are most important: Do you need vivid tape that’s easy to spot; should the tape blend in so it’s only visible if you know what you’re looking for; will tape with printed text help improve safety or efficiency; what width will be most useful? Needs vary from stage to set to studio—find a variety of gaffer tape options to manage any task.

Is Gaffer Tape the Same as Duct Tape?

No, gaffer tape and duct tape are different and aren’t interchangeable. Gaffer tape doesn’t leave any residue behind, so it can be removed or repositioned without the mess. Duct tape adhesive becomes gummy, especially when exposed to heat—like stage lights—but gaffer tape can handle the spotlight without leaving residue behind.

Duct tape versus gaffer tape comparison

How to Choose the Right Gaffer Tape for the Job

Choosing the best gaffer tape depends on your intended use. Do you need bright tape for high visibility, subtle tape that won’t grab attention, extra-durable tape made to stand up to dollies and equipment, tape printed with easy-to-read text to convey messages, or an inexpensive option for back-up or use in low-traffic areas? Get the right tape for the job: Our gaffer tape selection includes options for every need.

Gaffer Tape Materials

We offer a gaffer tape to suit a range of applications. Busy sets need tape that stands up to heavy traffic: Choose our beveled edge style gaffer tape, which is durable enough to prevent rolling equipment from damaging your floor markings. For less-trafficked areas, our thinner 20 ml woven rubber gaffer tape is an economical option that’s plenty durable.

Gaffer Tape Size

Choose the width and thickness you need for the job: Two- or four-inch width tape provides a visual cue for actors, stagehands, and film crews, or use this gaffer tape to secure cables—or cut thinner stripes for spiking or labeling the soundboard. Stock up with 90- and 100-foot rolls—you’ll have plenty for marking stages, plus extra for last-minute repairs.

Types of Gaffer Tape

  • Any Color Gaffer Tape: Bright orange to black to red, find the color you need for any application. Choose from solid color or striped tape for marking floors backstage, cues on-stage or in the wings, and set layout. This tape is perfect for quick, easy set repair when you have no time to waste. For easy to see back-stage cues on walls, doors, and door knobs, consider glow-in-the-dark tape.
  • Custom Gaffer Tape: You want your actors and crew to be able to spot your gaffer tape at a glance, but it shouldn’t be visible for the audience—we can create custom camouflaged gaffer tape designed to blend in with your floors and set. Contact a floor marking specialist today for custom-printed textured or patterned gaffer tape.
  • Gaffer Tape Printed with Repeating Messages: Text and messages make the stage and set safer and easier to navigate. Let actors know where sightlines are, mark exits, remind cast and crew to watch their step, and mark the ground for stunts. If you can’t find the repeating message you need, we can create it for you.

Top Uses for Gaffer Tape

This tape is the do-it-all option for performance venues, photography sets, on-location or studio filming, and stage theater productions. Some of the most common applications include:

  • Spike tape for marking set layout
  • Actor staging
  • Bundling cables and wires
  • Visual cues
  • Set and prop repair
  • Soundboard labeling
  • Sightlines
  • Stage productions
  • Film sets
  • Photography sets
  • Concert and event venues

Upgrade your gaffer tape: Ours is durable, features a strong adhesive, removes easily without damage, and can be custom-printed to suit your exact specifications. When it comes to the best floor marking tape, whether for performance or industrial use, we have options to meet every need.