Ubiquitous shopping bags – indispensable part of life!

You shop, I shop, every body shops! Almost everyone goes spending-spree/shopping-spree, but the fact is that the shopping bags have a big role in the ‘shopping’ culture. People use bags to carry merchandise, gift items, flowers, sweets, and vegetables., Business

27 May 2016 | By Shripad Bhat

What goes unnoticed while shopping?
The humble shopping bag.
Usually they are of different sizes, substrate – non-woven (a substitute to PVC) cloth, jute (almost 80% exported from Kolkata), Juco (combo of Jute and cotton), canvas, paper, resin, plastic (with sting attached with regards to microns!), designs (text and images), shapes (length and width), and print impressions (screen, flexo, offset).
By the way, this writer has noticed many shops in Mumbai now display a notice that says that no free carry bags! Is the humble shopping bag striking back?

More importantly, why screen printed shopping bags?
Everybody (printer) gets their pie of the printing business. Despite, automatic non-woven bag making/printing machines (flexo), a large number of screen printers are encashing in the bag printing business. That’s because of the existence of short-run business. According to printers, it is convenient to print multi colour and halftone on automatic flexo machines (poly bag/flexo bag), provided there is a bulk order. However, customers prefer screen printed bags simply because they need a unique look and feel. Bag makers say that screen printing is economical for short run orders. With screen printing it is possible to reproduce vibrant colours with sharpness in their text, and logos.

A quick look at screen printing firms who have healthy orders for screen printed bags:
Planet Non-Woven, Vapi, Gujarat
Bhadresh Sheth of Vapi-based Planet Non-Woven says non-woven bag printing is his passion which is evident from the heap of colourful non-woven bags which are ready for dispatch at his printing factory.
The company supplies bags to: Temples and religious institutions, Jewelry shops, cloth / garment shops, shopping malls, mobile / electronics shops, cement companies, hotels / restaurants, laundry chains, sweet shops, wedding bags, wine shops, sorporate, FMCGs, manufacturers, dealer, traders, and even events and mega exhibitions in New Delhi wherein visitors are given away handouts and booklets in a nonwoven bag.
Planet Non-Woven supplies both plain and printed bags with sizes ranging from 10x14 inches to 14x19 inches.

R V R Bags, Erode, Tamil Nadu

R V R Bags use Grafica’s Nano-Print Plus to speed up production and improve quality of non woven bags. “Our bag printing involves text, outlines, logos, and sketches. Hence, achieving sharpness was not possible on manual screen printing,” says R Vadivel, proprietor of the company.

The 3000 sq/ft production facility at Erode has cutting and stitching facilities, besides outsourcing stitching.

The product portfolio at R V R Bags includes:
1) Cloth bags: Wedding bags, temple bags, customised and complimentary bags

2) Non-woven bags: Shopping carry bags, complimentary bags, promotional and branding bags

3) Rexine bags: Complimentary bags, cash bags, jewelry bags

These bags are offered in the range of 12x14 inches (min) and 14x18 inches (max), involving both screen printing (80%) and multi colour offset printed (20%).

The company’s has a customer base in cities such as Chennai, Trichy, Madurai in Tamil Nadu, and Mysore, Hassan, etc (in Karnataka). “We make about 3000 bags per day, but against order only,” says Vadivel. “We supply bags to jeweler shops, educational institutions, temples, weddings, corporate (for branding/promotion purpose),” reveals Vadivel.

Surge Seven Inc, Sivakasi
Over 40 women employees at Sivakasi-based Surge Seven Inc, an ‘all-women’ company headed by M Sivasakhti are engrossed to produce designer gift bags and return gift bags (involving screen printing) for weddings and other auspicious occasions.
M Shivasakthi's entrepreneur husband, G Murugesh owns a marketing company ‘Seventh Sense’, which markets these bags under the brand name Signature Roses. “We have started receiving lot of inquiries from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka market as well” says Murugesh. Surge Seven also executes export orders.
Dhanshree Flexographics, Bhiwandi 
Bhiwandi-based Dhanshree Flexographics has a firm focus on the rural markets of Maharashtra. As the name suggests, the company is engaged in the manufacture and supply of packaging / shopping carry bags made up of cloth, paper, jute, non-woven, PVC. Their screen printing unit at Panvel houses Grafica's Nano-Print which exclusively undertakes non-woven bag printing.
"Non-woven bags are in a big demand and we are targeting small towns of Maharashtra as plastic bags are fading away,” avers Nilesh Berde, proprietor of Dhanashree Flexographics. His brother Amol Berde runs packaging unit (bags) in Daman while Nilesh is managing their 3000 sq/ft plant in Bhiwandi.

“We are eying the rural market in a big way because there are scores of shops and stores selling grocery, cloth, jewelry, medicine, etc. We also supply bags to garment/apparel manufacturers, shopping malls, sweets and food bazar” says Nilesh. “With automation, quality has improved and production targets are met with ease,” he concludes.
Kamatchi Cloth Bag, Kanchhipuram
Kanchipuram-based Kamatchi Cloth Bag Works prints 10000 wedding cloth bags/day on Nano-Print plus. They make traditional cloth bags meant for wedding ceremony to customers in Kancheepuram (known as city of thousand temples) and Chennai in Tamil Nadu state. They also screen print non-woven bags in a small quantity upon special request from customers.
"As per the tradition, we use only dark yellow fabric to make these bags, and text is printed in maroon colour ink. The bag is used to pack coconut, sweets, dry-fruits, etc which are presented to every guest at wedding ceremony, even if there are three to four people from one family," says S Muthu Kumar.
Ashoka Print, New Delhi
New Delhi-based Ashoka Print make eco-friendly paper bags under the brand name 'The Bag Factory', which are supplied to showrooms, corporate, shopping malls, large store-chains, banks, advertising agencies for branding purpose.
Patel Arts, Rajkot
Patel Arts is manufacturer of various type of travel bags, shopping and school bags. Patel Arts also has its own designer bags in the market in the name and style Patel Arts. They have an exclusive showroom under the brand “Bags World, Patel Arts,” in Rajkot as told by Jigar Patel.
Patel Arts supplies bags to sectors such as electrical and electronics, kitchen wears, food and FMCGs, engineering, pharma, shopping malls and jewelry shops.
S K Enterprise, Kolkata
Founded in 1949, the Khan Group has been engaged in jute bag printing in single, two and three colours, which mainly included sacks for tea, sugar, rice packaging. However, now they are engaged in lucrative multi colour and photo-realistic printing on jute and cloth bags. Out of their total production, shopping bags comprise 80% of their production capability. The rest of the work is for promotional bags which are supplied to large industrial houses, MNCs, telecom majors, garment exporters, shopping malls, etc. for branding purpose.
“We had executed 8.20 lakh bags of single design/single order exclusively for a client in the European market,” says Sagir, head of S K Enterprise.

S K Enterprise, a flagship of Khan Group of six companies, runs three production units which roll out 7000 bags duly screen printed with multi colours. Currently, the group’s activities include: screen printing on jute, cloth and juco (combo of jute and cotton) bags - shopping and promotional bags. Photo realistic heat transfers printing for jute and cotton bags is their new business. Their immediate plan is to produce printed paper bags.
What's a non-woven bag making? A few secret mantras by Bhadresh Sheth of Vapi-based Planet Non-Woven
• Purpose of bag: Branding (give aways) or shopping/carry bag. Plus it should enable content and goods to be carried.
• Weight bearing capacity as per purpose. We make bags right from 1 kg for kirana, grocery shops, cloth/garment shops. Weight-bearing is decided as per goods to be carried, e.g. Cloth, grains, vegetable/fruits, sweets box, jewellery, paper (photocopy shops/stationery shops).
• Thickness in micron: We make bags in the range of 45 to 120 micron and 60 micron is used for regular jobs.
• Choice of colour: Dark colours are mostly preferred by corporate. We offer 12 different colours such as white, red, pink, blue, green, orange, black, etc.
• Colour of ink: This is again crucial. It has to be decided based on colour of fabric.
• Fabric available: In roll form or duly cut sheets.
• Choice of handle: Shape-d-cut, stitched handle.
• Shape of bag (design)
• Printed / plan
• We source non-woven sheets in roll form which is cut into required size for printing, before stitching.