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How to order personalized bags?

First you must decide what material the bags you want to order will be made of: recycled plastic, compostable material, paper, etc. There are some features that work for everyone and others that don't. For this reason, we will classify them by characteristic and we will inform you of the particularities of each material.

Resistance of the bags

The resistance of a bag will be determined by the gauge (or microns) in the case of plastic and biocompostable bags, and grams per m2 in paper bags. In both cases, the greater the gauge (or microns) or the greater the grammage, the more resistance. However, making bags with too much gauge or grammage if you don't need it, will only make the product more expensive without any sense.

The gauge, like microns, is the unit of measurement that indicates the thickness of a plastic or bioplastic bag. One micron is equivalent to 4 gauges, that is, if a bag is 15 microns, it is 60 gauge. If it is 25 microns, its gauge is 100. In Spain both units of measurement are used, but internationally they are generally used the microns. You will see them represented with the symbol “µ” (microns) and “G” or “g” (gauge).

In the market you will find that the recycled plastic bags for t-shirts are 200 gauge (at least), because the law establishes it. You should know that these bags are generally made with a percentage of recycled plastic (50% or 70%) and a percentage of virgin plastic.

Biocompostable bags can be made from any gauge, although they are not usually made from less than G44 (12 microns) in the case of market or greengrocer bags, and G70 (17.5 microns) for T-shirt bags, because it is the minimum resistance for its usual uses.

The gauge will depend on the resistance you need, but also on the size of the bag, because the smaller the size, the less the content you will put in the bag generally weighs. But it will also depend on the type of products you sell. For example: You sell clothing accessories, such as handkerchiefs or scarves. You'll probably need a medium t-shirt bag, but you won't need the same gauge as someone who sells parts and metal parts like a hardware store. Although the metal pieces are smaller, they will need more resistance than a cotton garment.

We leave you some references regarding biocompostable t-shirt bags, in case they help you:

- A 40x50cm 70 gauge biocompostable T-shirt bag, resists approx. 5kg., Gauge 90, resists approx. 6kg., and 100 gauge between 7 and 8 kg.

- A 30x40cm market, greengrocer or section bag, 44 gauge resists approximately 2Kg, a 50 gauge between 2.5 and 3kg, and a 60 gauge resists between 3.5 and 4kg.

- In the case of bags with die-cut handles, the resistance is different, since what resists the weight of the content is not so much the bag as the handle. Thus, if you order this type of bag, the gauge must be larger: for 40x45cm bags, for example, a 190 gauge will have a resistance of up to 4kg, and a 100 gauge 20x25cm bag will resist up to 2kg.

In the case of paper bags, their resistance is measured in grams x m2, that is, how many grams weighs 1m2 of the paper with which the bag is made. In the market, paper bags with handles are usually 70gr or 80gr for small and medium ones, and 80gr or 90gr for large ones. In the case of bakery bags, they are usually 35gr. and "luxury" bags with a drawstring, between 200 and 250gr.

Types of handles

If you want to order bags with handles, you should know the difference in order to order the one that best suits you. In plastic or biodegradable bags, the most commonly used handles are t-shirt, die-cut, and loop.


The handle of the T-shirt bag is the strongest of the three, since each one has 4 layers of material. The resistance of the die-cut handle will depend on how many cm there are from the hole to the top of the bag, since it is the part of the material that will resist the contents of the bag. And in the case of the loop handle, it is preferable to use it in bags for lighter products, such as clothes or shoes, even if they are more voluminous. In these bags, the part that holds the content is the junction of the handle with the bag.

In paper bags, the most common (and cheapest) are the flat handle and the curled handle, both made of paper like the bag, although some manufacturers also offer the option of a die-cut, fabric or cord handle.

The flat handle and the curly handle are usually used for paper bags from stores of all kinds, and those with a fabric or cord handle for higher value products. They are more elegant, but they are also usually more expensive due to their greater grammage.

Measurements of custom bags

The measurements of the bags will depend on the product you sell in your store. In the market you will find standard measurements for generic bags that usually adapt to the needs of most consumers, but there are cases in which you will need a specific measurement. If this is your case, keep in mind that the way to reflect the measurements of a bag varies according to the type of bag in question:

T-shirt bags

T-shirt bags have bellows on the sides of the bag. This makes the capacity larger than it appears at first glance, but also gives the handles greater strength. The measurement of a T-shirt bag is specified by counting that the bellows are part of the width, that is, as if the bag had the bellows facing out, instead of in. The height is counted as the total with the handles included. In other words, a 40x50cm T-shirt bag will measure 40cm wide straight without counting the bellows (which will be part of the width), closed (with bellows inward) it will measure around 25 or 26cm and 50cm high including the handles.

Market or greengrocers bags

In the case of this type of bags, you can order them straight (without gussets) or with gussets, as you prefer. You can also order them in a block, in a "sack" (with nothing to join the bags together) or in a roll. In the case of block bags, you must take into account that the upper part (the block) measures about 2.5 or 3cm. Although in the order you place you only have to specify to the manufacturer that you want them in a block (without adding it to the measurements) you should know that the material used to make the block is also included in the price. For example, if you want 30x40cm bags, without gussets, in block, you will order straight 30x40cm bags without gussets in block. If, on the other hand, you want them with bellows, you must specify 30/20/40cm in block, that is to say 30cm wide open, 20cm wide closed and 40cm high (not including the block).

Die-cut handle bags

Die-cut handle bags are easy to measure, since they do not have bellows and their handle is included in the top of the bag. So, if you want a 30x40cm bag (30cm wide x 40cm high), this is how you should order it. But keep in mind that the hole for the handle will be located at the top of the bag itself, so when introducing the products there must be enough space at the top so that the customer can comfortably grasp the handles.

Paper bags

In paper bags, manufacturers generally have a stock of paper bags of various standard sizes that they then personalize with screen printing, or they can manufacture bags of custom sizes. This type of bag is usually gusseted, either on handle bags or bakery bags. The measurements are reflected as follows: width (not counting the bellows or with the bellows inward) + bellows (total measurement of the bellows or bottom) x height (not counting the handles). In this way, if you want paper bags with a wide bottom for take-away meals, for example, you should indicate it like this: 28 + 20 x 30cm (width + gusset x height without handles).

Color of material in custom bags

Personalized bags can also be ordered in any color you like, although with certain limitations. For plastic or biocompostable bags, if you provide the manufacturer with a Pantone color, they will most likely offer you the closest match within their range of colors. In the case of compostable bags, the natural color of the material is milky, it is not transparent or white. It can be done in white if desired, as well as in many other colors. Of course, when ordering a specific bag color, you must take into account that it looks good with the printing of your logo and its colors. The most common is to order the bag in white with the logo print in its original colors to preserve the brand image.

In the case of paper bags, the most common colors are natural kraft or white, although there are manufacturers that offer other colors if you prefer. If your logo has more than one color, the more neutral the background color is, the better your logo will be appreciated. If, on the other hand, it is all black, you can dare to play with the color of the bag to make it more attractive.

custom printing

First of all, you should know that to print a logo on any bag made of any material, you will need a printing plate. The printing plate is a piece of flexible material (usually rubber) in which the logo design is embossed. In the case of plastic or biocompostable bags, and paper bags with flexographic printing, this piece is inserted into one of the reels of the rotary presses, allowing ink to be impregnated by contact on the bag to be personalized. It is a form of high-speed, high-volume printing, so fast-drying liquid inks are used.

In the case of screen-printed paper bags, printing consists of transferring the ink onto the bag through a mesh. This process is generally used for smaller quantities, so it is also more expensive.

If flexo printing is done, minimum order quantities are generally 5,000 units or more. If you want smaller quantities, the manufacturer will most likely use screen printing as the printing method. The minimum order in this case is around 250 or 500 units, but its price will be higher.

Quantities to order

When you are clear about the type of bag you want, its measurements, its gauge, and the design, you should think about the number of bags you are going to order. It may seem like a minor detail, but other factors such as price and delivery time will depend on the quantity.

If your business is already running, surely you already have an approximate calculation of the bags you use per day or per month. If you are about to start, we recommend making a forecast.

Keep in mind that making custom bags takes time. The process has several stages: contact the manufacturers, request a quote, send the design to make the sketch, make the modifications you want, confirm the sketch, make the payment, manufacturing and shipping.

Searching for the manufacturers and asking for a quote to compare prices will take you at least 2 weeks, another week for the design and confirmation of the sketch, from 3 to 6 weeks for the manufacture of the bags (it will depend on the type of bag, the quantity and the company that makes them) and another week for shipment. The whole process will take you from one to two months, without counting vacation periods (ordering in August is almost impossible). It is for this reason that calculating the amounts is very important.

If the bags are for a specific event, and you will not need to replace them, ordering a small amount according to what you plan to use will be enough. But don't forget to place your order in time. If, on the other hand, it is for your store, ordering a small quantity is a mistake: when you receive the order, you will already have to think about making a new one. The ideal is to order enough quantity for 6 months (if your budget is limited) or a year if you can afford it, since the greater the quantity, the better price.

Paper bags don't tend to spoil easily, so if they are well stored they will last as long as you need to use them all, just like plastic ones. In the case of biocompostable bags, stored correctly, without being exposed to high temperatures or humidity, they can last 2 to 3 years without deteriorating.

You already know how to order your personalized bags. Now you just have to get down to work and make your business look more professional. Good luck!

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