The manufacture of any material will result in its own jargon and polythene jargon is no exception.
Polythene is a multi-functional material that relies on a special type of polythene jargon if it is to be
Polythene manufacturers can make vast quantities of this material either for ex stock or to order. Therefore
understanding the polythene jargon if you are about to place an expensive order is critical for a
Polythene jargon is in fact pretty basic and mainly revolves around sizes and thicknesses.
However, if you don't know what the term 'gauge' refers to within this polythene jargon then you will not
obtain the correct product for your purpose.
Manufacturing - Polythene
Standard format for bag measurement
The width of the bag is always taken to be the side that opens, so this is normally, but not necessarily, the
the width of the bag is given before the length.
the thickness of the bag is given last and is usually expressed in 'gauge' (100 gauge = 1/1000 of an inch).
hence the size of a bag is given as: Width (inches) x Length (inches) x Thickness (Gauge or micron)
For example: if a bag is said to be 4" x 6" x 150 gauge or micron, then the bag is 4" wide by 6" long with 150
gauge thickness and the bag will open on the 4" width.
How thick is thick?
100 gauge a 1/1000 of an inch
120 gauge 'light duty' - good for protective covering
250 gauge 'medium duty' - good for holding light materials
500 gauge 'heavy duty' - where strength is required
Metric and Imperial
Most measurements are given in imperial (inches and gauge) but some of us prefer to use metric scales and the
conversions are as follows:
width/Length 1" = 25.4 mm
thickness 400 gauge = 100 micron
For example: a 4"x 6" x 150 gauge bag is the same as a 102mm x 152mm x 37.5 micron bag
Some bags have a gusset at the sides to help the bag open out more and enable a greater volume of items to be
put in - a good example is a refuse sack. Others have a gusset at the bottom to enable a wide product to fit in - a
good example is a carrier bag.
A side gusset is expressed as a bag being x" wide opening to y" wide. For example: if a refuse sack is 16 x 25"
x 39" this means it is 16" wide opening to 25" wide when the gusset is opened, with a bag length of 39".
A bottom gusset is expressed as + x". For example: if a carrier bag is 15" x 18" + 3" then the carrier is 15"
wide by 18" long with a bottom gusset of 3"
We very much hope this helps but if you require any help or have any questions please call 0800 132710 and talk
to one of our experts!
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