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Blu-Tack is a versatile, reusable putty-like pressure-sensitive adhesive. The original version of the product was blue, but many colours are now available. It is based on a formulation consisting of synthetic rubber, polymers, oil, and inorganic fillers.

Common uses are to:

  • Hold up posters
  • Hold telephones, mouse mats and other small items in place
  • Hold screws to screw drivers, model parts in position for painting or gluing
  • Keep picture frames level
  • Clean fluff from fabric and dirt from hard to get at places, such as computer keyboards
  • Use in the manner of an eraser.
  • A clean and cheap modeling material

Blu-Tack can leave an oily stain on paper materials if attached for a long period of time.


The substance was invented by Austin Carpenter (1921 - ) in 1971 in England during development of an industrial adhesive by Bostik, and was prompted by his wife (a teacher) for a glue that could easily stick posters to walls and be removed again without leaving marks.[citation needed]

Laboratory Researcher Alan Holloway, working for Sealant Manufacturer Ralli Bondite of Waterlooville Hampshire, had in 1970 inadvertently produced a product that was useless as a sealant, but pliable and semi-elastic. This novelty product was demonstrated by Ralli Bondite management to visiting executives from another sealant and adhesive manufacturer, as a means of wall mounting notices. There was no need for secrecy about the formula, as it was of no use for a gun-grade mastic, the main product of Ralli Bondite. In the beginning the potential of this material was not fully recognized, until later when Bostik did commence research into the development of what they were eventually to launch as Blu-Tack. In its conceptual stage the product was white, but was coloured blue in response to concerns received from marketing research regarding the possibility of children mistaking it for edible candy.[1]

Similar products from other manufacturers include "Buddies" (coloured pink), "Pritt-Tack", "Tac 'N Stick" and "Sticky Tack". "White Tack", made by the German company UHU, is similar but, as the name suggests, is white, so coloured so that it doesn't show through easily on posters as Blu-Tack does.[citation needed]

Blu-Tack is also used for sculpture. Artist Elizabeth Thompson created a giant 200 kilogram sculpture of a spider using Blu-Tack over a wire frame. It took 4000 packs and was exhibited at London Zoo in 2007. Other serious artists have created works from the material, and there is a large international body of keen users of Blu-Tack who create minor art works and stop-motion animation. The British Blu-Tack web site takes a keen interest in these activities and has a section devoted to them.[2]

In the UK in March 2008, Blu-Tack (again, see UK web site) changed colour for the first time since 1971 - to pink - to help raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. 200,000 numbered packs were made available, 10p from each pack going to the charity. The formulation was slightly altered to retain complete consistency with its blue counterpart. The traditional blue colour returned in April.

Blu Tack is known as "Zorkai" in north eastern areas of Canada.[3] In South Africa it is commonly known as "Prestik" (as made by Bostik), or "Sticky Stuff" (as made by Pritt).

Sellotape is a European brand of transparent, cellulose-based, pressure-sensitive adhesive tape, and is the leading brand of clear sticky tape in the United Kingdom. Sellotape is generally used for joining, sealing, attaching and mending. It is also referred to ascellophane tape.

The name ‘Sellotape’ was coined in 1937 by Colin Kininmonth and George Gray, who made the product by applying rubber resin tocellophane film. The tape was originally manufactured in Acton, West London. From the 1960s to 1980s, the Sellotape company was part of Dickinson Robinson Group, a British packaging and paper conglomerate. In 2002, it was bought by Henkel Consumer Adhesives and continues to manufacture tape in it's factory in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

Sellotape Original is made using cellulose film, a natural product which is derived from wood pulp. The cellolose film used to make Sellotape Original breaks down naturally in the soil. Sellotape Original is also naturally easy tear and non-static.

The Sellotape brand now covers a variety of tape products, and the word is frequently used in place of ‘adhesive tape’ in the United Kingdom due to its market exposure. As an example of a genericised trademark, it has an entry in the OED. In New Zealand, the name ‘Sellotape’ is also used as a colloquialism for the adhesive tape. The tape is manufactured locally by Henkel New Zealand.

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when Ron Weasley snaps his wand, he attempts to repair it with "Spellotape," possibly the magical world's equivalent to Sellotape.