Talk about the tie that binds. Duct tape, according to the Avon, Ohio-based company that developed it, is the gift that keeps on giving...

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Talk about the tie that binds. Duct tape, according to the Avon, Ohio-based company that developed it, is the gift that keeps on giving.

Originally called duck tape because it repelled water, the strong, multipurpose cloth-based adhesive was developed during World War II to waterproof ammunition cases. Since then, people have found myriad uses for it, including designing clothes, mending backpacks, decorating cars and healing warts. Two years ago, a federal official recommended it as an effective tool against chemical warfare.

The tape’s developer, Henkel Consumer Adhesives, says it is particularly handy to:

• Repair holes in tents, rafts and other sports equipment.

• Reinforce worn luggage or mark bags for easy identification.

• Make a clothesline.

• Tape shampoo bottles or coolers to prevent spills.

The company also has produced its duct tape in a variety of cool colors, including fluorescent orange, yellow, green and funky flamingo. So the next time we need to protect ourselves from possible biological warfare, we can do it more fashionably.

To see some unusual duct tape projects — including a duct tape hammock, go to www.ducktapeclub.com/ducktivities.