Invention: Sellotape with a coloured tear

So, ask anyone whether Sellotape (Scotch tape to my American fan-base) is any good, and they’ll respond: you betcha!

Ask them whether they find it frustrating, and they’ll echo their first response. Why? Because they can never find the end.

Sellotape/Scotch: if you’re reading, here’s the solution. Invent a tape with three thin layers. The bottom layer is the sticky stuff; the top layer is the smooth bit; the newly introduced technologically-advanced layer sits in the middle.

This middle layer would react to air, turning a lovely magenta colour on exposure. (The colour could be a user preference; I’ve used magenta for illustrative purposes, mainly because it’s quite a nice word.)

When the user severs the tape, either with teeth or scissors, a tiny cross-section of the tape is exposed to the air, and changes colour within a few seconds. The next person who comes along wanting to wrap presents can find the end of the roll by simply finding the magenta stripe across the width of the roll.

Marvellous idea!


10 Responses to “Invention: Sellotape with a coloured tear”

  1. elise on October 25th, 2006 07:23

    Or maybe, just maybe, you could sell the tape on a dispenser that allows you to not only cut the tape, but keeps the end stuck in one place, thereby eliminating the need for scissors or using one’s teeth.

    We’ve been these using over in ‘merica for as long as I’ve been alive…

  2. Dan on October 25th, 2006 07:26

    I am aware of their work, my good friend. However, I’d argue that 80%+ of households don’t own them; they’re seen as officeware.

    So my idea rocks. OK?

  3. Shanahan on October 25th, 2006 08:18

    Bad idea or at the very least it’s half-baked. Anything you’d stick the tape on would also show the magenta bits.

  4. Dan on October 25th, 2006 08:29

    Only a tiny strip at either end of the piece…

  5. elise on October 25th, 2006 20:10

    I’m not sure I buy into the ‘80% of households’ statistic, unless you’re referring to actual research done in the UK.
    I don’t know the stats in America, but I’d be willing to wager that most that do use the in-dispenser type.

    The non-dispenser type rolls (your apparent standard here) are indeed officeware, used in those black dispensers that sit on your desk with the bottom weighted down nicely with sand.

    But, those arguments are beside the point. The real issue is that you’re taking a relatively simple problem with an existing, simple solution and creating a far more complex solution (in terms of production & technology) that, as Mr. Shanahan (greetings, fellow ex-sape) points out, seems to be problematic.

  6. Andrew Samuel on August 31st, 2007 01:33

    Hang on – wouldn’t you get magenta all down the edge of the tape as well though?

    As in – it obviously has 4 edges – which all have contact with air.

    You couldn’t cover these edges with anything because the way they make it is on ruddy big rolls which they cut down to size.

    Just a thought – great idea though!

  7. Dan on August 31st, 2007 02:12

    Thanks for your comment, Andrew. My idea is that the left and right sides of the tape are sealed to the elements, just for a millimetre or so either side. That way, you’d get your magenta line, but nothing down the sides.

    I think it’d work…

  8. deborah60 on January 10th, 2008 01:41

    Hello there – I have often thought of the same idea – especially around xmas time, and I agree, not every household owns a tape dispenser. Go for it!

  9. gemima on July 29th, 2009 02:48

    nnnnnnnnnnnnnnooooo.i invented it…not u

  10. Jonathan on December 24th, 2010 00:00

    Just thought about this myself then decided to google to see if it had already been done.

    My idea is slightly better (atleast it resolves all your issues and is simpler to manufacture).

    Add a chemical to the glue which reacts with air so it STARTS coloured and then turns clear when it is peeled off. That way, the end would be clear and…

    oh wait, you wouldn’t be able to see the clear bit on the role… :'(

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