BLOG 7: Types of bandages according to their composition.

BLOG 7: Types of bandages according to their composition.

There are many ways to classify bandages. In this and the following post we are going to deal with the two most widespread ones. First, in this blog post we will classify bandages according to the material and composition, and then, in BLOG 8, we will categorize bandages according to their purpose or function when applied. Although these classifications are common in many points, in others they differ.

Gauze bandage.

Gauze bandage

This type of bandage is widely used as a support bandage. It is sometimes applied directly to wounds as it can be impregnated with Vaseline or medication. At the same time, it allows air to circulate through it, enabling very good breathability for the wound. Gauze bandages have little or no elasticity. In the past, gauze bandages were quite common, although in recent years they have fallen into disuse.

Elastic bandages.

Elastic bandages.

These are bandages that adapt very well to any area of the body thanks to their elasticity. Their main use is to hold and support, allowing the wounds to be protected from the environment and preventing them from becoming infected. Elastic bandages are usually made of synthetic and natural yarns such as: cotton, viscose, polyamide and/or PBT.

As we can imagine, elasticity is one of the key factors of this bandage, normally being around 100% and about 140% for crepe elastic bandages.

Crepe elastic bandage.

Crepe elastic bandage.

This is a particular type of elastic bandage, so called because of the shape of the fabric that forms it. It is arguably the most widespread type of elastic bandage. It usually has two longitudinal lines on the sides of the bandage in red or blue. It is a full-bodied bandage but at the same time it is very porous and breathable.

The main characteristic of this bandage is the grammage. Some of the most common standards are 70 gr/m2, 90 gr/m2 or 100 gr/m2.

Cohesive elastic bandages.

Cohesive elastic bandage

This type of bandage is an elastic bandage that has been impregnated with a cohesive material, which gives the bandage its properties. Cohesive elastic bandages are widespread in Europe and the Americas. Its main advantage, as we have already mentioned, is that because the bandage adheres to itself, it remains in place for much longer. In addition, unlike adhesive bandages, these bandages do not stick to the skin or clothing, thus facilitating their removal.

Padding bandages.

Padding bandages

This type of bandage is intended to protect an area of the body before another type of bandage is applied, for example before an immobilization bandage such as a plaster cast or polyester splints, or before a functional bandage. They are usually made of cotton, viscose or some kind of synthetic fiber. They are also known as cotton or cushioning bandages. Within the category of padding bandages we can also find what are called paper bandages or crepe paper bandages, which have the same purpose but are made of paper.

Foam bandages.

Foam bandages

They have a similar purpose to the padding bandages but are made of polyurethane of greater or lesser thickness. Sometimes this material is impregnated with a substance to eliminate odors, relieve itching or reduce inflammation. They are also often referred to as pre-tape bandages.

Elastic adhesive bandages.

Elastic adhesive bandages

These bandages are designed to reduce partial movement of a joint or body part. They contain an adhesive that allows them to be attached to different surfaces and have a high adhesive power. They are widely used in the application of functional bandages.

Plaster bandage.

Plaster bandage

Its purpose is the total immobilization of a part of the body in order to allow its recovery. This material, when combined with water, becomes moldable and when it dries it becomes rigid, allowing the immobilization of the limb. It is usually applied over a padding/cushioning bandage to avoid harming that part of the body.

Polyester fiber bandages.

Polyester fiber bandages

They have the same purpose and use as plaster bandages but are made from synthetic materials. While they are more expensive than plaster, they have the advantage that, once correctly applied, the patient can get wet without damaging the bandage. Polyester fiber bandages are also much lighter than plaster bandages.

Tubular bandages.

Tubular bandages

Tubular bandages are tube-shaped and there are three main types. First, there is the tubular compression bandage, which generates a slight compression on the applied area. Second, the support bandage is an elastic bandage that serves as protection before another type of bandage is applied. Finally, the mesh bandage is a very elastic bandage used as a support for dressings and other bandages. This type of bandage is easy to apply. The materials from which it is composed are very diverse.

Plasters and tapes.

Plasters and tapes

Plasters are bandages that are impregnated with adhesive, but unlike elastic adhesive bandages, these bandages have little or no elasticity. They are made of different materials: paper plasters, plastic plasters, fabric plasters and TNT plasters. Finally, there are the ones known as tapes, which are like plasters but different. Although they are all made of a fabric impregnated with adhesive, their functions are very diverse and their use is very versatile, from fixing bandages or other objects, to their use in functional or compression bandages.

In the case of tapes, they are inelastic adhesive bandages which, when properly applied, form undulations on the skin to increase the subdermal space and facilitate lymphatic and blood flow.

Neuromuscular bandages.

Neuromuscular bandages

These are a very specific type of tape that due to the undulations of the fabric and always being applied by professionals in the sector, allows muscle recovery in a faster and more effective way. They are widely used in fields such as physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation.

This is an adhesive bandage, with elasticity only in the longitudinal direction.

As we can see, there are a multitude of bandages and their use is quite varied. It is very important to be familiar with all these types, as well as their compositions, because their functions and the way they are applied depend greatly on this knowledge.


Produced by the Technical Department of Calvo Izquierdo S.L.

with the collaboration of Carmen Alba Moratilla.


  • Fundamentals of Nursing. Kozier and Erb
  • Vendajes e inmovilizaciones. Manual de bolsillo para enfermería Cristina Gomez Enriquez M1 Jose Rodriguez Rodriguez
  • El vendaje funcional. Toni Bové

BLOG 6: Long- and short-stretch bandages

BLOG 6: Long- and short-stretch bandages

When bandages are described as long- and short-stretch, this refers to the bandage’s ability to stretch. Thus long-stretch bandages will have high elasticity and short-stretch bandages low elasticity. This is not to be confused with high compression and low compression; as we have seen in the two previous posts, elasticity and compression are not the same thing, therefore one does not imply the other.

As we mentioned, bandages can be classified according to their elasticity, either elastic or inelastic, and within the elastic category there are short-stretch and long-stretch bandages.

Classification into short-stretch and long-stretch

Although there are different opinions as to when a bandage is short-stretch and when it becomes long-traction, as a rule of thumb short stretch bandages are all those with an elasticity of between 10% and 90%-100%.

A. Inelastic bandages: No extensibility or no stretch at all (<10% extensibility)

B. Short-stretch elastic bandages (<100% extensibility)

C. Long-stretch elastic bandages (>100% extensibility)


Definitions of elastic and inelastic bandage material

based on in vitro testing





No stretch



(Low elasticity)


(High elasticity)





Compression material categories (Bandage Regulations DIN 61632)

Some examples of these bandages would be:


Short-stretch bandages:

Rosidal (L&R)

Rosidal (L&R)

Comprilan (BSN)

Comprilan (BSN)

LoPress (Hartmann)

LoPress (Hartmann)

Vendari TRACTOR (Calvo Izquierdo)

Vendari TRACOR (Calvo Izquierdo)

Normally these bandages are made primarily of cotton. They can also be cohesive, thus eliminating the need for a clip at the end of the bandage or some kind of fastening to maintain its position.


  • Long-stretch or high-elasticity bandages:


On the other hand, long-stretch bandages are those that have an elasticity greater than 100%. Usually we find elasticities between 140% and 180%, although they can even reach 300% in some cases.

Some examples of these bandages are: 

Kpress (URGO)

Kpress (URGO)

Dauerbinde K (L&R)

Dauerbinde K (L&R)

Vendari PRESIOFIX (Calvo Izquierdo SL)

Elodur Forte (BSN)

Elodur Forte (BSN)


These bandages are normally made up of several types of yarns, at least one of which is extremely elastic, so that they allow elasticities of around 140%. If these yarns are natural, the elastic will likely be natural rubber; if they are synthetic, the elastic material will be elastane, polyamide or PBT. 


Relationship between short/long stretch and compression in bandages


Finally, although the compression and the elasticity or stretch of the bandage have nothing to do with each other, it is true that they do have a certain relationship. Accordingly, a short-stretch bandage will exert one compressive effect on the patient, while a long-stretch bandage will have a different type of compressive effect.


Without going into too much depth, as we will delve more deeply into this in future blog posts, short-stretch bandages, as they have less elasticity, work more when the patient is moving, and do not compress as much when the patient is at rest. On the other hand, long-stretch bandages, being more elastic and tending to recover their original size, exert some compression when the patient is at rest, i.e., they are more effective when the patient is immobile than when he or she is walking around.


Produced by the Technical Department of Calvo Izquierdo S.L.

with the collaboration of Carmen Alba Moratilla








BLOG 5 Compression bandages

BLOG 5 Compression bandages

Therapeutic compression bandaging is a very important topic and the subject of much debate within the health sector. In the previous blog post, we discussed bandage elasticity, and as we will see in this post, compression is one of the physically measurable parameters that characterize the elastic behavior that governs medical compression.

What is compression?


The dictionary tells us that compression is “pressure to which a body is subjected by the action of opposing forces that tend to reduce its volume.” If we apply this to the case of bandages, we are talking about the active action exerted by a bandage when it is applied to a limb by means of the action of the professional who performs the bandaging and/or the compression of the bandage itself.


In this definition can be found another basic concept necessary to understand bandage compression, which is that compression can be generated in two different ways: first, there is the compression generated by the health professional when applying the bandage and, second, the compression produced by the bandage itself due to the composition of its yarn.


If a health professional applies a compressive bandage that is not very elastic, but exerts pressure when doing so, this bandage will be a compression bandage where the pressure is exerted by the health professional.


If a health professional applies a bandage using hardly any pressure and stretching the bandage only 25%, with a bandage made of elastic and compressive yarn, the bandage will generate compression as time goes by because it will try to return to its initial length and will compress the bandaged area.


As we have seen, we are analyzing two very different bandages, but both generating compression.


While compression can be achieved with any type of bandage, if what we are looking for is a therapeutic effect, we must pay attention to two aspects. On the one hand, there are the laws of physics that govern it, such as Laplace’s Law (interface pressure) and Pascal’s Law (transmission of pressure to the subcutaneous tissue), which we will discuss in later blog posts. And on the other hand, there are the parameters that control it, such as elasticity, hysteresis and stiffness, which we will deal with in a very general way in this post.


Parameters governing medical compression


Compression in bandages is determined by the three parameters that govern it: elasticity, hysteresis and stiffness.

Figure 5.1 Triangle of properties governing medical compression (hysteresis, elasticity and stiffness)


First there is elasticity, which is considered a parameter within that of compression, as well as one of its properties already discussed in previous blogs. We will not dwell too much on elasticity here, but simply mention that it is the ability of a bandage to stretch and return to its normal position. This should not be confused with saying that an elastic bandage generates compression. An elastic bandage may or may not generate compression; greater elasticity does not necessarily mean greater compression, nor the opposite.


The next key property is hysteresis. In clinical terms, hysteresis is the ability of the bandage to return to its initial elongation once it has ceased to undergo the stimulus that generated its stretching. This parameter is also known as “rebound or resilience”.


In relation to hysteresis, Professor Partsch refers to it as a measure of the loss of energy that occurs between loading (stretching) and unloading (relaxation). Yarns with minimal hysteresis are the best because they have maximum holding power with minimal resistance to stretching.

Figure 5.2 Hysteresis curves of different bandage materials.

As can be seen in Figure 5.2, to achieve the same level of pressure on the leg (blue dashed line), elastic bandages (right) need more stretch than inelastic bandages (left). At the same time, highly elastic bandages have a higher hysteresis than less elastic bandages. This means that inelastic bandages, when you exert force and then stop exerting force, behave the same and stretch the same. This symmetrical behavior is positive when it comes to therapeutic compression treatments.


Finally, there is the property of stiffness. When we talk about stiffness in compression bandages, it refers to the resistance of the bandage itself to lengthening or shortening when the muscular volume of the compressed area increases. An example would be the case of venous ulcer bandages where the stiffness would be the resistance of the bandage to stretching when the calf muscle increases in volume when walking, or with exercise.

Produced by the Technical Department of Calvo Izquierdo S.L.

With the collaboration of Carmen Alba Moratilla.





– Partsch H, Rabe E, Stemmer R. Compression therapy of the extremities. Paris: Editions Phlébologiques Françaises; 1999.) (1) (2)

– A. Coull, D. Tolson, and J. Mcintosh. Class-3c compression bandaging for venous ulcers: comparison of spiral and figure-of-eight techniques. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 54(3):274–283, May 2006

– Partsch, Hugo. (2014). Compression for the management of venous leg ulcers: Which material do we have? Phlebology / Venous Forum of the Royal Society of Medicine. 29. 140-145. 10.1177/0268355514528129

BLOG 4: What is the elasticity of a bandage? What are the differences between extensibility and elongation?

BLOG 4: What is the elasticity of a bandage? What are the differences between extensibility and elongation?

In previous posts we have discussed the different characteristics of a bandage, among which is elasticity. Speaking generally, elasticity is: “the ability of a material or substance to return to its original shape, size and condition after it has been stretched.”


How is the elasticity of a bandage calculated?


Elasticity is the property of a bandage to stretch and return to its original position after the force that stretched it has ceased to act. The elasticity of a bandage gives it the ability to deform to form a bandage in an area that is uneven in shape, such as the elbow or knee. In this way, a bandage, thanks to its elasticity, can modify its length at different points of the area where it is being applied.


If a bandage were made of an inelastic fabric, there are regions where there would be folds, since in areas of complex shapes it would not adapt itself correctly. In contrast, an elastic fabric can change its length and adapt itself depending on the needs of the shape.

Figura 4.1 Elaboración propia: Posición inicial; tracción larga estirada; tracción corta estirada

Figure 4.1 Prepared by Carlos Izquierda S.L.: Initial position; stretched long-stretch; stretched short-stretch

The way to calculate the elasticity of a bandage in Europe is given by EN 14704-1:2005 which is calculated by the following formula:

Figura 4.2 British Standard BS EN 14704-1-2005 Determination of the elasticity of fabrics (BSi)

Figura 4.2 British Standard BS EN 14704-1-2005 Determination of the elasticity of fabrics (BSi)

S (%): Elasticity of the bandage in %.
E (mm): Maximum length in mm after stretching it to its maximum extension 5 times
L (mm): Initial length of bandage in mm without being stretched

From here we see that the elasticity is measured in percentage (%).  For example, using a bandage of 5 meters initially and without stretching, if after the five cycles of maximum stretching it has a length of 10 meters, the elasticity of the bandage would be 100%.


What is elongation?


When we talk about the elongation of a bandage, it is exactly the same as elasticity. Analyzing the European standard DIN 53504, this is confirmed. In fact the formula for the calculation of elongation is the same as for elasticity.

So when we talk about the elongation of a bandage or the elasticity of a bandage, we are referring to the same thing.


Extensibility of a bandage


Technically speaking, the extensibility is the property of the bandage to stretch to the point of rupture, hence its extensibility will be given by the point before that rupture occurs. But we must be careful since there is a clear difference between this and elasticity. While elasticity means the stretching and the return of the bandage to its usual position if there are no forces that stretch it, extensibility is not the same thing and only involves the maximum stretching capacity.


This is due to the fact that from the point of maximum elasticity to the point of maximum extensibility the bandage deforms and does not return to its original position even if there are no forces applied to it. If the maximum elasticity is exceeded by 10%, this is not recovered and the bandage without forces applied will have 10% more length. In other words, once the maximum point of elasticity is exceeded, extensibility begins, and it does not recover its original shape. The extensibility is measured until the fibers break.


In any case, these are technical and theoretical definitions; in everyday life, it is common to refer to elasticity, elongation and extensibility as synonyms.


No mention has been made of how to classify bandages according to their elasticity. As a simplification, since there is no consensus on the matter, a possible classification would be as follows:


  • Inelastic bandages: elasticity < 10%
  • Elastic bandages: elasticity >10%. Within this category we would also have:
    • Short-stretch bandages: elasticity between 10% and 100%
    • Long-stretch bandages: elasticity greater than 100%


However, as we have just mentioned, this is only an approximation based on the categorization made in the European standard DIN 61632 “Verbandmittel” (1985).

Figura 4.3: DIN 61632 Verbandmittel. Idealbinden

Figura 4.3: DIN 61632 Verbandmittel. Idealbinden

To conclude, it is worth mentioning that no reference has been made at any time to the compression of the bandage. This is because the elasticity of the bandage and the compression it exerts depend on other factors, as we will see in future posts on compression.


Prepared by the technical department of Calvo Izquierdo S.L.

with the collaboration of Carmen Alba Moratilla



  • British Standard BS EN 14704-1-2005 Determination of the elasticity of fabrics (BSi)
  • EN 29073-3 look for this standard. It is the test methods for textiles and you will find useful information.
  • DIN 61632 Verbandmittel. Idealbinden. Berlin, Wien, Zu ̈ rich: Beuth Verlag; 19
  • Partsch H, Clark M, Mosti G, Steinlechner E, Schuren J, Abel M, et al. Classification of compression bandages: practical aspects. Dermatologic Surgery 2008;34(5):600-9. [PUBMED: 18261106]
Calvo Izquierdo returns to MEDICA 2021.

Calvo Izquierdo returns to MEDICA 2021.

MEDICA is the leading trade fair for the global medical sector.



Its high level of international influence and its reputation as a leading source of information in the field of medicine make it the meeting place for the international medical industry. The world’s largest event for the medical sector has been firmly established in the calendar of all experts for more than 40 years.


There are many reasons why MEDICA is so unique. Firstly, the event is the world’s largest medical trade fair: it attracts several thousand exhibitors from more than 50 countries in the pavilions. In addition, every year, leading individuals from the fields of business, research and politics participate in this top-level event, along with tens of thousands of national and international experts and decision-makers from the industry. MEDICA includes an extensive exhibition and an ambitious framework program, which together present the entire spectrum of innovations for ambulatory and clinical care.

Next November from Monday 15 to Thursday 18 we will be at our stand, four days of full power, knowledge transfer and networking we return to the face-to-face format.

We will be in Hall 05/K05, in the consumables pavilion exhibiting our products and waiting for you to meet and get to know us.

Contact us at the following email to arrange a meeting,

More information on the link: