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Direction Markings for Tape

Rolls of tape have the direction they unwind marked on them
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You've been there, right? You've one hand full of a half wrapped parcel and the other is trying unsuccessfully to find the beginning of the sticky tape... Half the battle could be won if manufacturers were to mark the inside of the roll with arrows pointing in the direction that the tape unwinds - then you'd know which way to run your fingernail looking for that elusive edge...
blamelewis, Dec 22 2001

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       I can't think of anything constructive to say... oh wait - in clear tape make sure the arrows all end up on top of another arrow so they are nice and neat... otherwise it would look a mess...   

       But it is a good idea and gets a pastry thing...
RobertKidney, Dec 22 2001
  

       Most rolls I've seen have a 'starter tab' to indicate where to begin pulling. After subsequent uses, I always roll the leading edge under (so the leading 1/8" sticks to itself) to give myself a 'starter tab' the next time I use the tape.
phoenix, Dec 22 2001
  

       Yes, phoenix, but-but-but! If you have kids or just less fastidious adults in your household they most likely just rip the tape off without making the little tab, and then when the Legitimate User (you) needs tape you are stuck picking the darned roll with your fingernails just as blamelewis describes. Ow, woe.
Dog Ed, Dec 23 2001
  

       Good point. On the other hand if you buy tape in a dispenser, you'll solve the first problem and alleviate the second.
phoenix, Dec 23 2001
  

       A hammer and six inch nails works well for me. Bah! Humbug!
DrBob, Dec 24 2001
  

       See Aspreys of London catalogue, little diamond encrusted cellotape holder thingy with platinum serated cutter- very reasonable price for the halfbaker in your life - hint hint
po, Dec 24 2001
  

       [po] I'd have grabbed that tape dispenser for you, but you didn't link to it. Guess it's too late now.
phoenix, Dec 24 2001
  

       Maybe an adhesive tape could be made that, when cut, the cut end swells slightly and "heals" so that it isn't sticky at the very, very end. The healing would require two things: contact with oxygen and the presence of a curing agent. This way, it would only do this when in contact with the the tape layer just below it on the roll--the tape outer surface contains a curing agent that causes the healing reaction to take place. The end, now thicker and not adhesive at the end will be easy to find with the fingertip.   

       Or maybe this is just halfbaked . . . .
bristolz, Dec 24 2001
  

       If the curing agent (anti-sticky) is opposite the sticky side, then the sticky is always in contact with the anti-sticky. If oxygen activates the anti-sticky, every time you peel some tape off and stick it to something it will become non-adhesive and fall off. Or not. Sounds like a good novelty item, though.
phoenix, Dec 25 2001
  

       Unabubba: //Why not just use tape that runs in both directions?   

       Oh yer tricky, yer are. I thought about a Mobius tapeholder, but unfortunately on the second layer the tape turns sticky-side up and since the third layer is sticky-side down again so it would stick to itself.   

       But phoenix is right. I always buy the cheap little dispensers.
Dog Ed, Dec 25 2001
  

       [Dog Ed] You could do it with double-sided sticky tape.   

       Oh, and ... who is lewis?
cp, Dec 25 2001
  

       [RobertKidney] The markings were meant to be on the inside of the roll, rather than printed on the tape itself. [phoenix] I always find it annoying to have to remove a fiddly wee tab from the end of a bit of tape before you have a usable piece. [cp] He's the narrators brother... (It's a quote)
blamelewis, Dec 26 2001
  

       Two more possibilities:   

       -1- Draw arrows on the SIDE of the roll. This would require an extra step at manufacture, but could also be done by the purchase using a Sharpie® or similar device.   

       -2- If the tape is opaque and its appearance is not of concern (e.g. masking tape), the tape could be tinted slightly in a smooth red/yellow/green/cyan/blue/magenta/red sequence whose repeat length was over 1.25 times the circumfrence of the roll. This would make the "seam" quite visible and also provide a direction indication.
supercat, Dec 28 2001
  

       [supercat]: If each color coded region is fixed in length (reasonable to assume) as the tape is used the color coding becomes increasingly inaccurate because the circumference diminishes. If it is varied to match as the circumference shrinks, then each roll will have to be manufactured, printed and cut, individually. Not impossible, but expensive.
bristolz, Dec 28 2001
  

       How about pressing a raised arrow shape into the tape - during manufacturing, but before the application of adhesive? Even if you couldn't see the arrow, you should be able to feel it.
phoenix, Dec 28 2001
  

       Or . . . the end of the tape turns dark blue when exposed to air, making it easy to see against the roll.
bristolz, Dec 28 2001
  

       I am intrigued at the sudden appearance and subsequent disappearance and then re-appearance of super-moggie today. what alley has he been hiding in? what dustbin has been hiding this tom?
po, Feb 03 2002
  

       Target up&up packing tape (incidentally, my favorite packing tape) effectively has this, having the up&up logo (which is an arrow) printed on the cardboard tube underneath the tape, and pointing in one direction around the roll.
notexactly, Apr 23 2019
  
      
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