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What is a Crepe Bandage?

By Sonal Panse
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

A crepe bandage is a lightweight bandage that is generally applied to provide warmth, insulation and support in a variety of medical health situations. It can be used to treat sprains and strains, to help correct fractures and other bone problems in orthopedics, to serve as a compression bandage to support already bandaged varicose veins, and to support surgical gauze bandage dressings. This type of bandage is never directly applied to wounds. The characteristic feature of this bandage is its elastic, stretchable property, which allows it to be wrapped without trouble and with comfort over different body parts.

It is very easy and quick to apply a crepe elastic bandage. It is important, however, to make sure that it is not applied too tight, otherwise the bandage may inadvertently act as a tourniquet, cut off blood circulation, and even create a potentially life-threatening situation. The layers should allow for easy movement of limbs and should be able to expand if there is any swelling.

The material used to make a crepe bandage is usually cotton, cotton mixed with wool, or cotton mixed with rayon. The fabric is made of a plain weave in which two folded, crepe twisted cotton threads form the warp, and a mix of cotton and wool threads or cotton and rayon threads form the weft. The warp threads are arranged in a repeat pattern of two threads in a S twist and two threads in a Z twist. These bandages are also available in knitted form. With frequent use, they lose their elasticity and become stretched out; the elasticity can be regained to some extent by washing the bandage in hot soapy water.

Whether in weave or knitted form, the crepe cotton bandage comes in a non-jointed, continuous length. The length, width and weight is variable, depending on the requirement and purpose. It may have fast edges or may need to be fastened with clips.

Crepe bandages come in bleached and unbleached forms. It is also possible to get them in different colors for better aesthetic appearance, the main colors being white, off-white and a light tan. They can be purchased in non-sterile and sterile packages; in individual, cellophane wrapped packing; and in blister packages.

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Discussion Comments
By fify — On Apr 26, 2011

I can tell you a trick to check the bandaging if you are using elastic crepe bandages at home.

After you have wrapped it, place your index and middle finger under the bandaging from the side. Make sure you don't touch the wound or sprained area. If it doesn't feel too tight on your fingers when you do this, it's good to go. If it's too tight, unwrap it and make it a little loser. This is what I do to make sure it's not too tight.

By burcidi — On Apr 24, 2011

I also work at a hospital and I've assisted with many varicose vein treatments. We have tried several different types of bandages after treatment and from time to time. From my experience, crepe bandaging was the best. It's a lot more comfortable for the patients and during check ups we see less swelling.

By ddljohn — On Apr 21, 2011

I use crepe bandage while I'm dancing. I've been suffering from tendinitis for some years now. I also fell once and ripped a tendon in my ankle. It's healed now but when I dance too much, I have a lot of pain where it happened.

That's why I wrap the crepe bandage around my foot, ankle and leg as a preventive measure. It really helps keep my ankle in place while I'm dancing. I'm really glad I gave this a try. I use to worry all the time that something was going to happen to my ankle again. This has worked quite well for me.

By meandcoffee — On Apr 20, 2011

Although this a new and efficient bandage, it is really, really important not to wrap it too tightly. My wife works in the E.R. and has seen blood flow cut off from limbs by having this cotton crepe bandage on too tight.

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