To Knot or not to Knot

Well there are a few kinds of fixings and handles to bags, so we shall discuss them and hopefully cover all the bases.

Firstly you have a die cut handle, ie a hole cut into both faces of a bag for your hand to fit thro, this applies to a poly bag being either a punch handle or a patch handle, the patch being usually glued, or occasionally welded. For short runs this could be quite expensive as you would have a minimum set up on machine to punch out, but is an inline option on poly.

Next there are rope handles, being cotton or poly. These are usually knotted. This is in itself worth discussing. Far east and European hand tied knots usually are fairly loose due to the speed of making the knot, also the distance down from the end of the rope can be large, effectively shortening the handle length. UK knots tend to be tight and towards the end of the rope. The problem with this is that it bulks up the thickness of a bag and increases packaging. These ropes usually would be 5mm dia and hand held (short) 500mm or shoulder (long) 800mm, the length being end to end before knotting. These ropes can also be supplied with tag ends that make for much quicker roping and tighter packaging. The downside here, is that they have to be imported and times can be six weeks upwards for delivery, so generally stick to standard colours, and special colours being bought in the UK to order, and pay a premium and forfeit the tag ends.

Satin ribbons can be knotted or secretly fixed. UK costs would preclude using a secret fixing due to the amount of handwork involved so a knot would be far better, these are also used as ties being a third drill hole in the middle of drill holes, or a ribbon slot. They come in varying thicknesses but 25mm is the standard, again standard colours or pay a premium. Grogran (cross grain tape) as for satin, also for organza which is the see thro ribbon, usually used as ties rather than handles.

Eyeletting really is a problem in the UK, finding a process to fit with the manufacture of the bags makes this a real conundrum. To date, I have investigated many options and settled on none. Due to the extreme cost in the UK. I haven’t seen how the Europeans overcome this, but if anyone knows I would love to hear about it and see.

Flexi loop handle poly bags are a more expensive bag and a heavier gauge so, tend to be more expensive by far. Clip close, very specialist and tend to be for much longer runs.


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