If you are trying to avoid using animal products, you might be concerned about products like adhesive tape because of the association between glue and horse hooves. However, this association is largely based on old manufacturing processes and doesn’t always apply to the adhesive tapes that you can buy today.

What Is Adhesive Tape?

An adhesive tape is a tape made from plastic or fabric and covered in a layer of glue. It can then be used to stick things together as an alternative to using fasteners, screws or welding. Adhesive tape can be more easily removed than other fastening methods without leaving any lasting damage to the surface.

Adhesive tape was first invented in 1845 by Horace Day, a surgeon who used a rubber adhesive applied to strips of fabric to create surgical tape. This initial invention has been developed and reinvented over the years to become the tape that we use today.

Glue Used To Be Made From Hooves

The very first glue was made from the sap of trees, and was used in 4000 BC in the repair of earthenware pots. After that, glue went on to be derived from animal products. Historically, glue has been derived from collagen found in animal hides, bones and fish.

Glue can also be made from gelatin, which is made from boiling up the bones and hooves of animals. Horse hooves were used when horses were used as a primary mode of transportation for a lot of people, but in more modern times the collagen was taken from animal by-products from the food industry, so the bones and hooves of cows were more likely to be used than those of horses.

What Is Glue Made From Now?

The majority of glue that you can buy now, and that is used in the manufacture of adhesive tape, is synthetic and made from petroleum. The same goes for the majority of glue that is used in industry.

There are some glues that are still made using animal products, however generally these will be clearly labelled as such, as the manufacturers are making a selling point out of their glue being made using traditional methods.

For example, if you see something labelled as ‘skin glue’ or ‘hide glue’ then the chances are that this will be made using animal hide or skin.

Bone glue was commonly used in furniture making until the mid nineteenth century when it became much quicker to use synthetic glue. Casein, which is a protein found in milk, was used in woodworking glue and furniture making during the nineteenth century. Again, the usage of this type of glue has dropped off as it has become more convenient to use synthetic glues.

In general, any glue that you buy today will not be derived from animal products unless it states otherwise and the same goes for the glue that is used on adhesive tape. It’s also more common for manufacturers to use synthetic glues in their products than ones derived from animal products because it’s a cheaper and more efficient process.

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