The Ultimate Guide About What Scrim Tape Is and How to Use It

Scrim tape is a general-purpose cloth tape, commonly made from cotton or polyester. It has a clean edge and a slightly flexible feel giving it a professional look when applied to permanent sets. Scrims are primarily used in lighting but can also be used for other tasks such as soundproofing, carpeting, hiding imperfections on set, etc.

When using scrims to hide small irregularities on the floor of the stage floor, you should use two layers of one-inch masking tape at least thirty minutes before applying the scrim(s). The masking tapes will help prevent paint from bleeding through while making lines parallel with each other by keeping paint out of crevices where they might otherwise settle and remain.

Scrim tape is used to secure scrim panels or other objects vertically against lighting stands, rigging points, trusses, or a grid. Scrims can also be used for color effects by using different colors of gels on the front surface to achieve various degrees of opacity. The abbreviation “scrim” comes from the word “scarf,” This cloth has initially been cut into before being sewn into a tube shape and then finished with gaffer’s tape on each end. You can find more information here: What are Scrim Tape vs. Gaffer Tape.

What are the uses of scrim tape?

Scrim tape has many uses in theater settings, but here are some great examples. Since it’s durable yet malleable, you can use Scrim Tape to make up for color gels missing from your lighting kit. If the worst happens, you may lose a gel off one of your light tree’s or a piece of gel might get ripped and is now no longer reusable. In that case, scrim tape is excellent for rigging quick replacement gels on stage while still maintaining a clean look while staying out of sight.

You can also use it to “shape” your lights by sticking it between the lens holder and the barn door or egg crate on your PAR cans or ellipsoidal. By adding/removing layers of tape from behind the louver on an ellipsoidal reflector spot, you can shape the spread of light from the fixture.

Scrim tape can also be used to reduce the spill of light from one area to another. By placing scrim over top windows, doors, or wherever you don’t want that much-reflected light spilling through, you can cut down on unwanted spillage making your lights look more potent in their intended areas.

Scrim Tape is excellent for adding diffusion to any lighting instrument, whether an ellipsoidal or PAR can. You could rip up bits of scrim and insert it into a par-can lens holder/ barn door hinges for quick diffusion or use larger pieces attached with double-sided tape to soften the shadows on stage. Scrim tape has many uses when performing in theater, but Scrim Tape has multiple benefits when working in film and television.

Scrim Tape is also great for ensuring your sign mover doesn’t come down during a windy day or to ensure that your signs stay where they’re supposed to be. Scrims are used by lighting technicians, musicians, and stagehands of all sorts every day for many different purposes. Still, one thing can never be forgotten: name any use of scrim tape, and sound guys will tell you how it’s the worst thing ever invented because it gets caught on everything and makes noise when moved.