Making an Impression with BAGS – Learn about common bag fabrics!

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The hottest sellers in bags are non-woven and cinch bags – usually due to affordability.  But let's take it a step further.  Do you know what the difference is between non-woven and poly?  And just what is PET? Here's a quick list of the most commonly used bag fabrics and their definitions to help you sell!

1)  Non-woven — is a fabric-like material made from long fibers, bonded together by chemical, mechanical, heat or solvent treatment.  Often, non-woven materials include a certain percentage of recycled fabrics.  And some non-wovens can then also be recycled after use.  Non-woven fabrics are engineered specifically for specific functions including, absorbancy, liquid repellence, resiliance, stretch, cushioning, etc.  

2)  Polyester — a synthetic, durable fabric (often also blended in with other fibers).  While synthetic cloth is in general perceived as having a less natural feel compared to fabrics woven from natural fibers (such as cotton and wool), there are advantages.  Improved wrinkle resistance, durability and color retention are benefits of synthetic fabrics.  Polyester fibers can also create materials with superior water, wind and environmental resistance compared to plant-derived fibers.

3)  Nylon — silky-smooth, highly resiliant material, originally intended to be a synthetic replacement for silk.  It often lines a high-end bag, but can have many other applications such as roping and seatbelts.  

4)  Microfiber — synthetic fibers measuring less than one denier that can be woven together into fabric.  Microfiber is used to make non-woven, woven and knitted textiles.  The shape, sizes and combinations of fibers are selected for specific characteristics including:  softness, durability, absorption, wicking, water repellance, etc.  

5)  Neoprene — synthetic rubbers that have a good chemical stability, maintaining flexibility over a wide temperature range.  Foamed neoprene is used in insulation material such as wetsuits, beverage coolers and computer accessories.

6)  Recycled PET — PET stands for post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate.  It is made of post-consumer recycled plastics and essentially a form of polyester fabric.  The recycled material is spun into thread or yarn and can be used alone or blended with other fibers to make a wide variety of fabrics.  Most often, this fabric is used to create strong, durable products such as jackets, shoes, bags, hats and accessories.

7)  Canvas — Modern canvas is usually made of cotton or linen, although historically it was made from hemp. Canvas comes in two basic types: plain and duck.  Treated with a waterproofing substance, canvas is used for a variety of indoor and outdoor applications.  Very commonly used in making backpacks, tote bags, shoes, auto covers, tents, sails, etc.  It is sturdy and has the ability to stretch.

8)  Cotton Duck Cloth — organic, heavy, plain woven cotton fabric.  It is versatile and can be machine washed and dried and is easy to dye, waterproof and sew.  Unlike synthetic cancases, cotton duck cloth breathes, allowing air and moisture to pass through easily.  Cotton duck is available in a number od different weights.  The lighter weights make good shoes, shower curtains, laundry bags and tote bags. Heavier weights are used to make hammocks, boat covers, tents, etc.

9)  Jute — Long, soft, shiny vegetable fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads.  It is one of the most affordable natural fibers and is second only to cotton in amount produced and variety of uses. Jute has gained an advantage as being an eco-friendly option instead of poly and paper bags. Formerly primarily used in home textiles (such as floor covering) and to make ropes and sacks, it is also used for making fashion & promotional bags.

Click here for link to the Norwood Bags Book and see all the options we have to offer.

~Margit Fawbush

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