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Glossary of ECO Terms

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Your Guide To Artwork and Printing Terminology

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How To Measure a Bag

How To Measure a Bag
What is a Gusset?
What is a T-Gusset?
How do I measure the handle length?

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Glossary of ECO Terms 

AZO-Free Azo dyes and pigments are commonly used to color textiles and plastics. Some of the by-products, such as chlorinated aromatic amines, are toxic and may be potential carcinogens. Also, azo dyes and pigments resist biodegradation under aerobic conditions, so they are difficult to remove from an ecosystem.
AZO-FREE dyes are dyes that don’t contain any of these harmful substances and are used in all our dyed cotton bags.

Bio-degradable: The property of a substance that permits it to be broken down by a natural process such as bacteria and other microorganisms into simple, stable products that will not harm the environment. By this definition, most chemicals are biodegradable; the only thing differing would be the amount of time it takes to break down a substance. Nonwoven PP will break down rather quickly, whereas PET will take decades and beyond.

Care Instructions for your Tote Bag: Promotional Canvas bags are generally NOT pre-shrunk and subject to shrink when laundered. Colored Cotton Tote Bags may bleed and are NOT 100% color fast. We do suggest to spot clean or dry clean only. If you are ordering a NATURAL tote bag and intend to wash it, we suggest to order a sample first and wash it on cold cycle. Lay flat to dry. 
Only order bulk after having tested a sample and being satisfied with the result.

Canvas Duck: A heavy, durable plain-weave cotton fabric. Once used in tents, boat sails and other utilitarian products, this fabric became popular in bags after WWII and now reflects the ultimate in weekend style. Canvas tote bags are an "evergreen" in the promotional product industry due to its product characteristics. They yield great Imprinting results, are comfortable at touch, non-allergenic and affordable.

Corporate Sustainability: implementation of strategies that meet business needs while concurrently seeking to protect, support, conserve and enhance the human and natural resources needed in the future.

The soft, fluffy fibers gathered from the seed of the cotton plant, or the cloth made from these fibers. First used by the people of India 5,000 years ago, cotton is considered to be one of the world's oldest fabrics. There are several grades of cotton which can be used for fabrics. For tote bags the most often used one is "canvas duck" and "canvas sheeting" material. Cotton is sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable, making it an excellent choice as an environmentally-friendly fiber throughout its entire product life cycle.

Cotton [Organic]: Organic cotton is another sustainable alternative to chemically-based or synthetic fibers. There are strict standards for organic cotton, and it is not easy to become a certified organic cotton operation. "Organic" means the cotton is produced without pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers or any other chemicals that harm the environment. To become a “certified” organic cotton supplier or part of the “organic” supply chain you have to adhere very strict standards and have your fields / manufacturing plant inspected annually to match the guidelines of GOTS Scheme of Central Union (Netherlands) , previously SKAL GOTS standards require a 3-year conversion for land before organic crops can be harvested, so becoming an organic cotton producer is a long-term decision.

Ecological footprint: a measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems and natural resources. It compares human consumption of natural resources with planet Earth’s ecological capacity to regenerate them.

Hemp: fiber from the stalk of the hemp plant which contains a low amount of lignin, the organic glue that binds plant cells, which allows for environmentally friendly bleaching without the use of chlorine. Hemp is an extremely durable, breathable and comfortable fabric similar to linen but softer and machine washable.

Jute: a plant fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads and is one of the most economical natural fibers second only to cotton in the amount produced and the variety of uses.

Nonbiodegradable: Incapable of being broken down naturally into substances that will not harm the environment.

Nonrenewable: Nonliving resources (such as rocks and minerals, petroleum, coal, copper, gold…) that cannot be replaced, replenished, or renewed by natural processes or by human planning and practices.

Non woven PP: is a by-product of oil refining. The material is made of web structures that are bonded together by entangling fiber mechanically – the end result are porous sheets of pressed fiber – often embellished with a waffle pattern to give a structural look. No yarn or weaving is being used in this process. Nonwoven polypropylene bags, are often advertised or referred to as the "Green Bags" or "Smart Bags" and can be found in most supermarkets these days.

Compared to PET or plastic bags, nonwoven PP bags are fully recyclable and biodegradable, if exposed to sunlight – which makes them "greener" than their predecessors. They also are more durable, water repellent, non-toxic and most importantly a LOW COST alternative to most other "green bags" out there.

Nonwoven polypropylene material has been most popular in the use of medical garments mainly due to its non–allergenic and non–toxic characteristics but has also found its place in many other industries – often used as packaging or protective cover material due to its low cost.

PET [Polyethylene Terephthalate]: used as a raw material for making materials such as bottles and containers for packaging a wide range of food products and other consumer goods. PET is one of the most common consumer plastics used.

Post-consumer PET: plastic bottles made from PET are collected, sorted and processed in order to reuse the material. Common extrusion methods include production of melt-blown and spun bond fibers to form long rolls for future conversion in to a wide range of useful products such as totes bags, ID wallets, valises and backpacks.

RE 22-stitch material: made from 85% post-consumer recycled material. It is produced mainly from recycled bottles. Its use drastically reduces the amount of plastic in our landfills. Look for the RE prefix on items throughout this publication.

RE Unifi Repreve® : a man-made yarn made from 51% recycled material consisting of a mixture of pre-consumer (unused fabric generated during the production) and post-consumer (plastic bottles) recycled materials. FTC approved – First quality. The production process conserves energy which reduces the greenhouse gas (CO2 emissions) by 92%.

Recyclable: having properties that allow processing (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse.

Recycled: a new product made from products that were used before.

Sustainable: The ability to continue/maintain into the future.

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Your Guide To Artwork and Printing Terminology  
Adobe Acrobat: 
Suite of applications to create and view PDF files.
Bit-mapped (mode): 
the Paint graphics mode describes an image made of pixels where the pixel is either on (black) or off (white).
Camera-ready art: 
final publication material that is ready to be made into a negative for a printing plate. May be a computer file or actual print and images on a board.
Color separation: 
the process of creating separate negatives and plates for each color of ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) that will be used in the publication.
generally refers to text -- typewritten pages, word-processing files, typeset galleys or pages -- although sometimes refers to all source materials (text and graphics) used in a publication.
Crop marks: 
on a mechanical, horizontal and vertical lines that indicate the edge of the printed piece.
DPI (dots per inch): 
the unit of measurement used to describe the resolution of printed output. The most common desktop laser printers output a 300 dpi. Medium-resolution printers output at 600 dpi. Image setters output at 1270-2540 dpi.
the art of working raised and ornamental designs in threads of silk, cotton, gold, silver, or other material, upon any woven fabric, leather, paper, etc., with a needle. Embroidery cost is calculated per 1,000 stitches.
Embroidery Tape: 
contains all the instructions which tell the embroidery machine what to stitch on your garment.
a set of characters in a specific typeface, at a specific point size, and in a specific style. "12-point Times Bold" is a font -- the typeface Times, at 12-point size, in the bold style. Hence "12-point Times Italic" and "10-point Times Bold" are separate fonts.
Four-color process:
The printing process that reproduces colors by combining, cyan, magenta, yellow and black. If you look through a magnifying glass, you'll see that the printed image consists of dots in these four colors. These dots are printed on top of each other, next to each other or just close to each other, depending on the color and tonal values wanted.
Gradient: A function in graphic software that allows the user to fill an object/image with a smooth transition of colors, for example a dark blue, gradually becoming lighter or red, gradually becoming orange, then yellow.
You can achieve great visual results by using only one color for any fine print on paper, for printing on tote bags and coarser materials in silkscreen technique this method is not always recommended. Final print results might appear "blotchy".
a continuous-tone image photographed through a screen in order to create small dots of varying sizes that can be reproduced on a printing press. Digital halftones are produced by sampling a continuous-tone image and assigning different numbers of dots, which simulate different sized dots, for the same effect.
Halftone screen: 
the screen through which a continuous-tone image is photographed, measured in lines per inch. Although digital halftones are not actually photographed through a screen, the term is still used to describe the size of the dots; the larger the dots (fewer lines per inch), the more grainy the image. Special screens can be used for special effects.
Heat Transfer Imprint: 
is a dry process that uses preprinted decals to decorate an item. Heat transfer decals provide a high quality screened image that is permanently bonded to a part by way of the hot stamping process. You are able to achieve almost paper print like results when using heat transfer process and are not limited to a minimum stroke size as you are in screen printing. Natural and white bags can be decorated more easily and are more cost effective than heat transfer on a dark background.
Imprint Area: 
Allowable area on a tote bag that can be decorated.
any slanted or leaning letter designed to complement or be compatible with a companion roman typeface.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Electronic Group):
A common compression method that shrinks a file's storage size by discarding non-important picture detail. Excessive jpeg compression can cause poor image quality.
Line art: 
black-and-white artwork with no gray areas. Pen-and-ink drawings are line art, and most graphic images produced with desktop publishing graphics programs can be treated as line art. For printing purposes, positive halftones can be handled as line art.
a symbol, mark, or identifying name.
Low-resolution image: 
A low-resolution image is a low-detail scan made from, for example a photograph.
Oblique type: 
characters that are slanted to the right; sans serif typefaces often have oblique rather than true italics, which are a separate font.
The outline is the outer edge of text or a graphic.
Overall Imprint:
Indicates an imprint that goes from edge to edge. In a stitched bag this can only be achieved before the bag is stitched as otherwise seams and raised edges limit the printer to imprint only in an ‘allowable’ imprint area.
Pantone matching system:
The Pantone matching system is used for specifying and blending match colors. It provides designers with swatches of over 700 colors and gives printers the recipes for making those colors.
PMS (Pantone Matching System): 
a standard color-matching system used by printers and graphic designers for inks, papers, and other materials. A PMS color is a standard color defined by percentage mixtures of different primary inks.
the crispness of detail or fineness of grain in an image. Screen resolution is measured in dots by lines (for example, 640 x 350); printer resolution is measured in dpi (for example, 300 dpi).
Sans serif typeface: 
a typeface that has no serifs, such as Helvetica or Swiss. The stroke weight is usually uniform and the stress oblique, though there are exceptions.
reduction or enlargement of artwork, which can be proportional (most frequently) or disproportional. In desktop publishing, optimal scaling of bitmaps is reduction or enlargement that will avoid or reduce moiré patterns.
Screen (tint):
in graphic arts, a uniform dotted fill pattern, described in percentage (for example, 50 percent screen).
connected, flowing letters resembling hand writing with pen or quill. Either slanted or upright. Sometimes with a left-hand slant.
in a typeface, a counterstroke on letterforms, projecting from the ends of the main strokes. For example, Times or Dutch is a serifed typeface. Some typefaces have no serifs; these typefaces are called sans serif.
Silkscreen Imprint: 
a printmaking technique in which a mesh cloth is stretched over a heavy wooden frame and the design, painted on the screen by tusche or affixed by stencil, is printed by having a squeegee force color through the pores of the material in areas not blocked out by a glue sizing.
lines of type with no space between the lines (unleaded).
Spot color separation: 
for offset printing, separation of solid premixed ink colors (for example, green, brown, light blue, etc.); used when the areas to be colored are not adjacent. Spot color separations can be indicated on the tissue cover of the mechanical, or made with overlays.
Stroke weight: 
in a typeface, the amount of contrast between thick and thin strokes. Different typefaces have distinguishing stroke-weight characteristics.
For imprint on bags in silkscreen technique a minimum stroke weight of 1.5 is recommended.
TIFF (Tagged Image File Format):
for digital gray-scale halftones, a device-independent graphics file format. TIFF files can be used on IBM/compatible or Macintosh computers, and may be output to PostScript printers.
the set of characters created by a type designer, including uppercase and lowercase alphabetical characters, numbers, punctuation, and special characters. A single typeface contains many fonts, at different sizes and styles.
Type families:
a group of typefaces of the same basic design but with different weights and proportions.
Vector graphic:
Vector graphics are drawn in paths. This allows the designer to resize images freely without getting pixilated edges as is the case with bitmapped images. The vector format is generally used for in printing while the bitmap format is used for onscreen display.
denotes the thickness of a letter stroke, light, extra-light, "regular," medium, demi-bold, bold, extra bold and ultra bold.

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How To Measure a Bag 
There oftentimes is confusion on interpreting the measurements of a tote bag correctly. Sometimes the size can be deceiving depending on how the bag appears in a picture.
We thought you might like to know how we measure:
Measure a Bag
What is a Gusset?
The gusset defines how deep or wide the tote bag is at the bottom.
What is a T-Gusset?
A T-Gusset is stitched like an upside down T - there is one side seam only
and the depth of the bag is defined in the bottom seam of the tote bag only.
What is a Box Gusset?
A Box Gusset is a gusset that is stitched in a "U" shape - there is a left seam, a bottom seam and a right seam. Some people refer to it as an "all around gusset"
How to measure the webbing handle?
There are two ways - we measure handle length from handle attachment point. Some people measure the "drop height" which is the highest point of the handle measured in a vertical line to the top rim of the bag.

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