What a load of gussets
Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about the word ‘gusset’ that has always made me snigger. It’s the sort of word the Two Ronnies would have used as a double entendre in one of their songs, usually performed while dressed as large middle-aged women.
Traditionally, it referred to a piece of fabric sewn into a seam to add breadth to or reduce stress from any kind of tight fitting clothing, especially at the shoulders, underarms and hems of traditional shirts and chemises. But over the years it somehow became associated more particularly with ladies’ underwear. Or, like I say, maybe it’s just me.
These days, working in the packaging supplies business as I do, gussets crop up regularly when talking about polythene bags. And just like that small boy giggling at a word he didn’t really understand, I have on occasion found myself trying to talk knowledgeably to a customer about the subject when, quite frankly, I hadn’t a clue. And so it is that, again like my younger self, I resolved to get to the bottom of the matter (as it were).
So just how big is your gusset?
The first thing to say about gussets is that not everyone gives the measurements of them in the same way. When we give the dimensions of a bag as width x gusset x length, we give the gusset size as the size the bag extends to when you fold it out. From the illustration below, this is width x (width + depth) x length.
Some people, on the other hand, give the dimensions as width x depth x length; in other words they give the size of the gusset itself, as measured from seam to seam.
So, a gusseted polythene bag we would describe as 200 x 300 x 500mm, others might describe as 200 x 100 x 500mm (where, in the above illustration, w=200, d=100, l=500).
Lining a box with gusseted bags
One of the common uses for gusseted poly bags is as the lining for cardboard boxes. And this is where the next problem lies – how do you determine what size bag you’ll need?
Let’s say we have a cardboard box measuring 406 x 356 x 457mm (and we do have one, we know it as ASW64) that we want to line with a plastic bag (see illustration 2 below).
To determine the width and depth of the bag you’ll need, add about 100mm to the box’s length and width. In this case, that gives us 506 and 456mm.
To determine the length of the bag you’ll need, add the box’s height and width together, plus another 150mm; in this case that gives us 963mm.
To find that bag from our website, you’ll therefore need one with dimensions of at least 506 x 962 x 963mm (ie 506mm wide when flat, extending to 962mm). Our 30 micron gusseted polythene bags, BGP12/050 would be just right! (Incidentally, if you wanted to tie the bag off, you’d need to add about another 250mm to its length.)
Hopefully, that’s made everything a little clearer, but do give us a call on 0844 800 9844 if you’re still at all confused, or if you have a good joke involving the word ‘gussets’.
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