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Fabric for Customised Bags

Published by Steve Hill on

Fabric selection plays a significant role in the production of custom bags, with two main categories to consider: dress-weight fabric and upholstery-weight fabric. Dress-weight fabric is ideally suited for clothing, while upholstery-weight fabric is designed for cushions, sofas, chairs, and other furniture pieces.

When it comes to creating bespoke bags, the exciting aspect is the versatility of using both types of fabric, providing almost limitless options. Typically, dress-weight fabric is employed for lining the bag, while a heavier-weight fabric is utilized for the bag’s exterior, ensuring durability and structure.

During the customisation process, we engage our clients by asking relevant questions about the intended purpose of the promotional bag, its contents, and the target audience. This information enables us to make appropriate fabric recommendations. For instance, if the bag is intended for a child to carry their lunch to school, we might suggest a wipe-clean lining that can be easily refreshed with a simple wipe down or machine wash. On the other hand, for a custom laptop bag or promotional tablet sleeve, we recommend a robust exterior fabric such as felt or quilted/padded materials to provide optimal protection for the device.

Canvas and denim are excellent fabric choices for the exterior of promotional bags. Canvas, available in different weights, offers strength and can be screen printed or dyed to achieve the desired visual appeal. A recent example of our production involved a red canvas shopper for Make Architects, which was meticulously Pantone-matched to align with their brand identity and other printed materials. We screen printed their logo onto the bag, ensuring a cohesive branding approach.

Denim, another durable fabric, is often used for custom bags. Recently, we collaborated with a creative agency, producing concept samples that exemplify their unique vision. We calculated the fabric usage and the time required for each concept, resulting in a final product that included woven labels. Corduroy is another hard-wearing fabric we frequently employ for versatile custom bags.

Flannelette, also known as brushed cotton or winceyette, is commonly used for dust bags, product protective bags, and shoe repair services. Its soft texture allows for dyeing and printing. Drawstring bags are often made from flannelette, which can feature a brushed surface on one or both sides. The drawstring can be made from various materials such as fabric, cotton, polyester, neon, or even Pantone-matched cord, tailored to suit individual preferences or brand colours.

Velvet bags are commonly associated with jewellery, gifting, and alcohol. While printing on velvet is discouraged due to fraying, branding can be achieved through embroidery and labels. To address the fabric’s tendency to fray easily, we employ a wider seam allowance during sewing to ensure a flawless finish.

Faux suede and real suede are typically reserved for the exterior of promotional bags. These materials can be embossed or debossed to incorporate branding elements, resulting in a sophisticated appearance. Suede bags can also be reinforced with an additional layer of material or adhesive stiffener, known as interfacing, to provide structural support.

Cotton bags can be crafted from various fabric weights. We offer stock bags starting from 4.5oz and up, which can be branded within a specified print area and supplied internationally within a ten-day timeframe. Bespoke cotton bags can be fully printed on various weights of fabric, with options for self handles (made from the same fabric as the body of the bag), leather handles, faux leather handles, or thick cord handles, tailored to specific requirements. With the increasing demand for reusable bags or “bags for life,” retailers are opting for these solutions to offer customers a durable and eco-friendly alternative, while maximizing branding opportunities and repeated brand exposure.

Felt bags have gained popularity, especially since the creation of The Collection Bag for G.F Smith, a bespoke bag designed to carry their paper samples. Felt is utilized in creating tablet sleeves, presentation bags, and document holders due to its versatility. With a wide range of thicknesses and colours available, felt bags can be further personalised with woven labels, bespoke metal work, leather or faux leather straps, and other sewn-on elements that align with your brand’s identity.

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