1What is the difference between PowerTape® and typical double sided banner hemming tape?
The first difference is that PowerTape® is not double sided. It is a single sided tape, but it is made with a super strong film so that you get the strength of a hem without the hassle. With regular double sided banner hemming tape, you must lay down tape all along the edge of the banner, then carefully fold the fabric and press it against the tape. Most people find this to be a real pain! It takes some practice to get it right, plus, if you mess up you have to start all over or the hem looks awful.
2How do I use PowerTape®?
PowerTape® is a single-sided tape that comes on a convenient self-wound roll. To use it you simply lay the banner face down on a table, apply PowerTabs® and strip PowerTape® along the top and bottom edge of the unfinished banner on top of the PowerTabs®, punch a hole through the tab center hole, the tape, and banner media. Then, fasten your rope, and you are ready to go. It may seem obvious, but the tape goes on the back of the banner.
There are a few tips that will help. First, it helps if you can clamp both ends of the banner on a table with just a little tension to remove any wrinkles. Next, you don’t need to place the PowerTape® exactly along the edge. It is better to give yourself ¼” leeway to allow for any slight wandering as you go down the banner. You will develop your own technique, but we have always found it helpful to pull off an arms length of tape at a time and lay that down, using some tension to keep the tape straight then pull off another, etc.
3Do I put the PowerTape® on the banner first, or the PowerTabs®?
It is very important to put the PowerTabs on first, followed by the PowerTape®. Why? Because the tape has a silicone release coating on it to make self wound rolls possible. As a result, if you put the PowerTape® down first the tabs will not stick to the PowerTape®! Try it and see. If you discover a situation where you really want to adhere the tabs over the tape, you may dissolve the silicone release coating from the surface of the PowerTape® by gently rubbing the tape film surface with a rag soaked in nail polish remover (don’t overdo it – it could melt the plastic film too!). This will quickly remove the silicone release coat and adhesive will stick to it.
4Should I use PowerTape® on all four sides?
We normally do not recommend this. PowerTape® works just fine when used only along the top and bottom edge. That said, some customers desire extreme strength for extreme conditions. They have used the above nail polish technique to allow overlapping the tape at the corners and lay PowerTape® on all four sides of the banner. You may apply tape along the top and bottom edge, then dissolve the release coating within a couple of inches of all four corners, using the nail polish remover as described above, then run a strip along both vertical edges, overlapping on the newly cleaned corners. Finally, apply the PowerTabs® at the corners over the 3-layer sandwich of banner fabric and two layers of tape, punch a hole through the center hole of the tab and the tape layers, fasten your rope through the hole and, COME ON WIND!
5Do I have to run PowerTape® all the way along the edge or can I just run it a foot or two from the corner and still get the same strength?
There is virtually no value to running PowerTape® only a short distance from the corner without going continuously to the other corner. The secret to the strength of the PowerTape® is the way it evenly distributes wind stress along the entire top and bottom edge of the banner and the ropes supporting the banner so that no one area takes too big a portion of the wind load.
6Should I use PowerTape® for outdoor banners only, or for indoor as well?
PowerTape® is normally needed on outdoor banners only when the greatest strength is required. If you are not sure if the banner will be used indoors or out it may pay to use PowerTape®. PowerTape® has an added benefit even for indoor banners in that it gives some stiffness to the banner edge and helps reduce edge curl.
7Can I use PowerTape® by itself, without PowerTabs®?
It is possible, for indoor banners, but definitely not recommended for outdoor banners. PowerTape® has only moderate strength when used by itself, but tremendous strength when used over PowerTabs®.
8Can I use PowerTape® with grommets without PowerTabs®?
PowerTabs® and PowerTape® are designed to be used as a system and when used correctly give strength far in excess of grommets alone. Some customers will simply use PowerTape® in place of double sided tape and then install grommets without using PowerTabs®. This will give some additional strength, but not nearly as much as with the tabs.