Is Washi Tape Acid-Free? [In Depth Guide]

Ever opened your scrapbook and experienced the horror of seeing all your arts and crafts turning yellow? It is because the tapes you used must have been acidic. Speaking of tapes, washi tape is the newest trend among artists.

There are no artists out there currently who have not fallen in love with the beautiful patterns and designs of washi tape at first sight. I bought several washi tapes for my experiment from different brands all around the world.

is washi tape acid free

Yet, is washi tape acid free? The question remains as a cliffhanger. Keep an eye on the piece further to find all about the mystery and history behind the beauty and structure of washi tapes.

Introducing Washi Tapes

As long as the background story goes about washi tapes, it was first discovered in Japan more than a decade ago. The same year has to be 2006 when some tape manufacturers decided to make this from Japanese rice paper. Pick up any washi tape from your nearest arts and crafts stores, and you will still find that smoothness in the texture.

washi tapes

A group of designers then took the tape to another level by giving them different patterns and designs to make them available for artists of all kinds. That’s how a simple paper tape turned out to be something magical for art enthusiasts all over the world.

Acidic Washi Tape-Free or Not?

To find out if washi tapes are acid-free or not, I decided to experiment on some washi tapes from different craft stores and brands. First, I cut out a small piece from each of the tapes and paste them on paper in a row.

The rule of thumb is to write something on these pieces with an acid testing pen. If the writing turns blue on the tape, the carrier and adhesive of the tape are acid-free. So, the tape passes the test.

Acidic washi tape-free or not

If the writing turns yellow, then there are acidic components on the tape that make the tape acidic and lead to discoloration on paper.

After testing with the acid testing pen, some washi tapes came out acidic, and some came out acid-free. Although all the washi tape manufacturers claim it to be acid-free, it is not the case.

The Acid-Free Ones

Still searching for the answer for, “Is washi tape acid-free?”. The only washi tape that is hands down acid-free is the mt washi tape (mt standing for masking tape). This brand is originally from Japan and the pioneer of washi tapes since 2006. They evaluated and paved the pathway of washi tapes ever since they came to light.

Mt washi tape has branches all around the world now. You can order from them online and ship your favorite washi tapes at your door.

Mt washi tape

These tapes come in hundreds of different plain colors and designs. They have a one-sided adhesive tape, with the other side having a matte finishing. The matte texture favors writing on the tape with markers or fine-tip pens.

You can use mt washi tape for layering, mending, sticking, or even designing photos on your scrapbook and photo album.

Washi Tape Vs Scotch Tape

Scotch brand has been the talk of the town for manufacturing tapes and other stationery items even before washi tapes came into the limelight. In recent years, they started to produce washi tapes to bring the market to fellow artists.

If you are wondering, “Is Scotch washi tape acid-free?” I have news for you.

They have been successfully processing acid-free washi tapes since 2013. During my acidic washi tape testing, those tapes also passed the procedure.

Washi tape vs. Scotch tape

There are two types of Scotch acid-free tapes. One is double-sided adhesive, and another is one-sided adhesive. The main drawback with the double-sided adhesive tapes is that the paper sticking to the adhesive surface is hard to eliminate.

The one-sided adhesive tapes are great for frameworks, but the glue gets dried out after a year or two. The not-so-durable adhesive may cause coming out of photos from your scrapbook in the long haul.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the recurring questions to help you out more with washi tapes:

Is washi tape toxic?

Japanese washi tapes are made from rice paper. They do not contain any harmful substance as a primer, carrier, and adhesive. So, there are no toxic components in the washi tape.

Where can I get cheap washi tapes?

Many physical and online stores supply washi tapes. Among them, Michaels is one of the most authentic. Michaels acid-free tapes are one of the cheapest after Amazon, having their acid-free designer line.

Their price range is not as high as mt washi tapes while maintaining the rice paper vibes on the tapes.

How can I transfer acid tapes into acid-free ones?

You can find acid-resistant sprayers in art and craft stores. These sprayers are used to spray on the adhesive side of the tape to make them acid-free. The sprayer contains alcohol and paraffin to resist acid on tapes and papers.

Can you write on washi tape with a sharpie?

You can write on washi tape with any pen if the tape has a matte finishing instead of a glossy one. Sharpie, among all other markers and colored pens, looks most elegant and customizable on washi tapes.

Final Thoughts

Many may wonder what the fuss is about acid-free tapes. If you use acid-containing tapes to hold pictures, they will turn yellow and discolor in the long run. The acid will eventually soak through the surface for such an occurrence.

It is also why acid-free tapes are necessary to keep your scrapbooks and album intact and durable for the long run. Washi tapes are artistic in their composition. They are not some plane tapes that make the whole project dull and mundane.

If you had been wondering, “Is washi tape acid-free?” I hope you got your desired answer through this article.

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Last Updated on June 6, 2021 by Timika Sandra

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