What is the difference between high-quality and regular paper bags?

How many times have you held in your hands a paper bags with a paper so thin that you could see through, razor edge top finishing that could cut your finger, cheap handles that could only hold a kilogram or two, and washed out print? But what really makes a difference when it comes to paper bags? Short answer: Paper thickness, Printing Technology and Top Finishing. For long answer read more.

Paper Thickness

The first major difference between a paper bag your business would be proud to give to consumers and partners is the thickness of the paper used. The thickness of the paper itself directly influences not only visual perception of the bag’s visual appeal, overall quality, and weight capacity, but also how premium it feels when in hand.

Advice: Purchase paper bags made from at least 100 gsm (grams per square meter) thick paper.

Printing Technology

Printshops use various printing technologies to bring your images, designs, and messages to life. Their choice is based on the quantity, colors, and material on which they are printed. When it comes to paper bags the offset and digital printing technologies are most commonly used. However, since the top-quality digital printing machines enabling high-resolution prints are very expensive, they are rarely used to print on the paper bags. Moreover, digital printing is economically viable only for low volumes. On the other hand, the widely used offset printing provides top-quality high-resolution prints, however, it is only economically viable in high volumes.

Advice: Purchase paper bags from suppliers with state-of-the-art digital presses or simply demand an offset print for your bags even if you’re ordering a small quantity. Always request a sample if your bags will be printed using digital technology.

Top Finishing

Paper bags come with different top finishing options. Most commonly the paper bags come with a straight cut top edge with handles glued on the inside and somehow protected with a paper strap (see image below). The bags with such finishing look and feel cheap, while their handles can be easily torn off. On the safety side, these types of bags are hard to fill because the thin edge on the top can easily cause cuts on the back of your fingers and nails. On the other hand, the high-quality paper bags come with a so-called J-Cut / Top Fold / Turned Top Fold finishing. The J-Cut top finishing means that the top edge of the eco-friendly paper bag is folded towards the inside while the small cuts in form of a letter J in the folded part present an opening for a well-glued paper handles. The folded top looks and feels smooth and is gentle to the hand while filling the bag.

Advice: Always choose the J-Cut / Top Fold finishing on your paper bags. It will not only make your bags look nicer, but it will also help your customers and partners avoid the unpleasant cuts on the back of their hands.