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How to Choose the Best Casting Tape

Fiberglass casting tape is strong, durable and easy to work with, so it’s no surprise medical professionals consistently choose fiberglass over other materials.

But choosing the best fiberglass casting tape can be tricky because not all products are made the same. There are several factors that affect how easy the tape is to apply, how well it performs and how comfortable it is for the patient.

Below we’ve outlined some key components to look for to ensure you’re using the best casting tape available.

Multi-Directional Stretch

Casting tape that offers a multi-directional stretch makes life easier for the patients who wear casts and for the medical professionals who apply them.

Tape that stretches in multiple directions is far more conformable than standard tape, making it easier and faster to form the right shape.

This is ideal for awkward angled areas presented by elbows and ankles as well as for Orthotic and Prosthetic applications where conformability is a must.

Controlled Work Time

When applying fiberglass casting tape, timing is everything. You want the tape to stay wet long enough for you to form the cast, but not so long that it doesn’t set soon after you’re finished.

Look for casting tape that’s designed to activate quickly in water, so the whole roll is ready to apply at once. That makes it easier to apply the cast using one continuous roll.

You should also consider casting tape with a low-tack resin. This helps you apply the tape in a controlled fashion so it sticks to itself, instead of your fingers.

Strength & Durability

The purpose of a cast, of course, is to immobilize and protect an injured limb. Fiberglass is a superior material for this because of its strength.

You should look more specifically for fiberglass casting tape that sets quickly so that it can bear weight within minutes after application. This ensures patients leave the facility with a fully functional, durable cast, and they won’t have to come back until it’s ready to come off.

Multiple Colors

Patients typically have to wear casts for a period of weeks or even months while their injury heals. That’s a long time to have to live with a cast.

To make that healing period just a little less monotonous, look for casting tape that comes in a wide variety of colors. Patients—both children and adults—appreciate the opportunity to choose their favorite color or a fun pattern.

Colorful fiberglass casting tape

Fiberglass Casting Tape by CNF Medical

Performance Casting® and Performance Casting® PLUS fiberglass casting tape from CNF Medical is designed to exceed the needs of medical professionals who apply casts, and the patients who wear them.

Both tapes include CNF Medical’s patented Aqua Core technology, which channels water to the inner layers of a tape roll, activating the tape faster. They also offer a low-tack resin for a controlled working time and excellent conformability.

Performance Casting PLUS casting tape features a multi-directional, three-plane stretch for easy application and superior conformability.

Most importantly, they result in a strong, durable cast (in a variety of colors, of course) that will help patients heal from their injuries.

For more information about casting tapes from CNF Medical, click here.

By |September 7th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Acquisition Makes Carolina Narrow Fabric the Only Medical Splinting & Casting Manufacturer in the U.S.A.

(Winston-Salem, NC – July 25, 2018) — Two North Carolina companies, one whose founder helped the other get into business, are now combining their forces to stand strong against global competitors. In the process, they are not only retaining, but also expanding, one of the remaining textile-related manufacturers in the state and will emerge as the only medical splinting and casting company with manufacturing activities in the U.S.

CNF Medical, a subsidiary of Carolina Narrow Fabric (CNF), which manufactures its Performance Casting® and Performance Splinting® brands in its ISO 9001 and 13485-certified facility in Winston-Salem, N.C., is acquiring the splinting and casting assets of Parker Medical Associates of Charlotte.

Bruce Parker, founder and CEO of Parker Medical Associates, will continue to run Parker Athletic in Charlotte. However, the Parker Medical brand will be discontinued and manufacturing will move from Charlotte to Winston-Salem, creating new skilled labor jobs at CNF Medical.

“We’re already doing construction here for the expansion,” says Jeffrey Freeman, president of CNF Medical. “It is a win for Winston-Salem and North Carolina.”

“It won’t be a detriment to the Charlotte community, either,” says Parker. “The combination of the Parker and CNF Medical businesses will be a stronger unit than the two of us were separately.”

The relationship between the two companies goes back decades. Horace Freeman, founder of CNF and grandfather of Jeffrey, supplied Parker with the raw materials – at no cost – to manufacture his first 1,000 samples, in 1986. “We hope we have repaid that over the years by purchasing quite a bit from CNF,” joked Parker.

Over the years, each company carved out different niches in the industry. In the 1990s, CNF supplied Parker with materials for splints. A chemical engineer, Parker revolutionized fracture care in emergency departments and operating rooms internationally with his patented fiberglass roll splinting system. By1996, Parker sold his company to Smith and Nephew, which eventually moved manufacturing to Mexico. Over the next few years, at least 80% of all cast manufacturing was moved off American shores.

By 2007, Parker’s patents had expired and Carolina Narrow Fabric had begun to manufacture their own cast tape through CNF Medical. Parker, who had previously sold his business, re-entered the splinting and casting manufacturing marketplace. And the two companies became competitors.

With independent sales forces, Parker Medical and CNF Medical often overlapped or traded employees. CNF Medical’s current sales manager was once a manager for Parker.

Through this acquisition, the two companies are combining their sales forces and lowering their costs on raw materials to better compete against other casting and splinting companies whose manufacturing facilities are outside the U.S. The market has changed dramatically, with most of the manufacturing of casting and splinting products moving outside the U.S. where labor and supply costs are much lower.

With the acquisition of Parker Medical Associates, CNF Medical is determined to keep well-paying manufacturing jobs, which involve knitting and other specialized textile industry skills, in the state.

“It tells a great story,” said Freeman. “Bruce was one of my grandfather’s best friends and I think he would be proud of what we are accomplishing.”

Parker agreed, “His grandfather and my good friend would be very happy about this.”


By |July 26th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Everything you need to know about Total Contact Casting

What it is:

Total contact casting (or TCC) is a casting technique used to treat diabetic foot ulcers and Charcot foot. In TCC, the entire cast is in total contact with the affected leg. (Pro tip: Use lightweight, fiberglass casting tape rather than the heavier plaster alternative. With such a large area to cover, every ounce counts!). To be effective, the cast must follow the exact contours of the foot, so you’ll want to use the most pliable casting tape you can find. CNF Medical’s Performance Casting® Plus fiberglass cast tape offers a multi-directional, three-plane stretch instead of the typical two-plane stretch, making it the ideal choice for TCC.

Why it works:

The cast distributes weight evenly across the sole of the foot, offloading pressure from the ulcer and bony prominence. With that pressure relieved, the process that created the ulcer will begin to reverse and the foot will heal. The cast also limits movement and protects the infected area from further trauma.

What you need:

How it’s done:

The TCC process is different from that of a normal cast. When you apply the casting tape, you must ensure the cast is in contact with the entire foot and the leg gets enough blood flow. TCC is a very delicate procedure as the slightest movement or loss of position can create new pressure points (and cause a new ulcer!). You’ll need an attentive assistant to monitor things closely and maintain the position as you apply the casting tape.

The patient should lie in the prone position on his or her stomach, with the affected leg pointed into the air (bent at the knee at a 90-degree angle) with the ankle bent naturally. Apply a thin dressing to the ulcer, followed by a smaller-than-usual stockinette from the toes to just below the knee. (Pro tip: For a higher quality stockinette, opt for one manufactured with the “rib” knit process, like CNF Medical’s Performance Stockinette™. It will maintain its shape when stretched and cut, unlike the cheaper “jersey” knit stockinette.)

Next, apply cast padding between the toes and up the leg and foam padding over the toes and at the bony prominences. Finally, apply the fiberglass casting tape from the toes to just below the knee, ensuring the cast is closely molded to the contours of the sole of the foot.


You have now created a Total Contact Cast. The healing process can take 6-8 weeks, during which time, the cast must be replaced every one or two weeks. So, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to perfect your Total Contact Casting technique.

By |June 13th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments