What is a bandage?

A bandage is a strip of fabric in the form of a roll, which is applied to a part of the body for protection, compression, support or immobilization. It is made of one or more types of natural and/or synthetic yarns (cotton, viscose, polyamide, etc.), which through various industrial processes acquire certain properties and characteristics. In turn, it can be found in a multitude of lengths and widths, as well as different weights[1] (g/m2).

If we analyze a dictionary definition of bandage, it mentions something very similar: “A strip of woven material used to bind up a wound or to protect an injured part of the body.”

As we mentioned, bandages are composed of yarn. These strands of yarn can be in a transverse direction, which is usually called weft, or in a longitudinal direction, called warp. Figure 1 below shows both the direction of the weft strands (blue color (2)) and the warp strands (red color (1)).


This is a very brief explanation of how a bandage is woven, but it will serve to give us a rough idea. Later in this blog we will see that there are many types of weave structures where warp and weft do not make much sense, or that some bandages are not composed of yarns but of nonwoven fabric (NWF).

Within the yarns that are used in the manufacture of bandages there are two families: natural yarns—among which we can find cotton, viscose or bamboo yarn—and synthetic yarns, which include polyamide, polyester, elastomer or the material known as PBT (polybutylene terephthalate). In the next blog post we will talk about the types of yarns that exist and some of their properties in more detail.

Now that we have explained how a basic bandage is woven, we will go on to explain the different parts of a bandage. In Figure 1.2 we can see an initial end, the part where the bandage is applied, and the terminal end, which would be the end of the bandage. The body of the bandage is also shown, which refers to the entire rolled bandage. Finally, there is an inner side and an outer side of the bandage. The most technically correct way to apply a bandage is to apply the outer layer in continuous contact with the body, as this gives greater stability to the bandage.

Partes de una venda.

Elaboración propia

Finally, when it comes to classifying bandages, we will see in future blog post a classification of the type of material from which they are made, and a classification according to their therapeutic purpose, whether to hold, compress, immobilize or protect.

We hope this post has been able to clarify some basic questions you may have had about bandages. 

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

with the collaboration of Carmen Alba Moratilla



[1] Weight is the area density. Its unit of measurement refers to the weight measured in grams per square meter.

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