Paper bags are an extremely versatile packaging option. A wide range of businesses can use paper bags, and they even come in thicker paper materials depending on what you need them to hold!
In this blog post, we’re continuing our how it’s made series by walking you through our paper bag making process. Read on to learn more!
The first order of business in any of our packaging is to order the correct materials! When ordering the paper materials for these bags, there are two main categories we distinguish: Kraft and cardboard.
Kraft paper bags are your everyday takeout bag. Made of a thin paper, Kraft paper bags start with either a white or brown base, depending on the look you’re going for.
White cardboard bags are a slightly more luxurious-feeling paper bag option. These usually begin with just a white base, so their prints can really stand out!
Here at LeKAC, the paper material for our paper bags starts at 120g for Kraft and 150g for cardboard! The paper weights can increase or decrease depending on how much structure you need from your paper bag.
There are a wide variety of printing options available for printing designs onto paper bags. You’re already familiar with screen printing and digital printing from our previous blog post, so let us introduce you to some others!
Offset printing uses three cylinders and the CMYK colour mode to produce images. By placing small dots of each colour on its own plate in specific patterns, printers can help create the illusion of a wide range of colours.
The first cylinder is the “plate” cylinder that suppliers treat to attract ink and repel water. The second cylinder is the “offset blanket” cylinder which contains a rubber plate. This plate rolls in the opposite direction as the plate cylinder, squeezing out water and transferring the ink design to the rubber plate. The final cylinder is made of clean steel, and is known as the “impression” plate. This final stage presses the paper and ink together before it heads into a dryer to set the design.
Relief printing is a method that uses a design cut into a wood, stone, copper, rubber, or other material plate. Material in areas that are not to be printed are cut away, so only the areas that should be printed will come into contact with the paper.
Using one of these printing methods, the design prints flat all at once! If your packaging includes any lamination, our suppliers apply it in this step!
Did you know? Lamination is not applicable to our Kraft bags, but is on our white cardboard bags!
If you’re looking for foil, embossing, or any other add-on, this is the step for you! Any special coatings like spot UV are applied after lamination, while some other add-ons are applied during the next step!
After printing and add-ons, the next step is to die-cut! A die is a tool that cuts or shapes material in the production process. If your packaging has a window, or a special die-cut handle, this is where it gets made! This step also includes any embossing or debossing, as they require a unique die to make the impression.
Finally, once all the paper sheets have their designs, it’s time to fold them into bags! This happens either manually or using a machine!
In manual folding, a worker glues, folds, and adds the bag’s handles by hand. In the mechanical version of this step, a machine automatically does this work! Machine folding is more accurate, but also takes longer to set up! Either way, your bags go through a variety of quality control checks before it arrives at your door!
Why Make The Switch?
If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to switch to paper bags instead of their plastic counterparts, this is your sign! Single use plastic bags are one of the six main items that the Canadian government includes in their upcoming plastic ban regulations.
Paper bags are also highly recyclable! Have a bag with a fabric handle>? No worries! Remove any non-paper components of the bag before recycling and you’re good to go. However, keep in mind that any bag with a laminate coating is not recyclable due to the laminate film.
Interested in learning more about how you can make a custom bag for your business? Contact us today to find out how we can help you get started!