by mad14kt 21 Nov 2014

11/21/14 * Sewing Question: Does any Cutie know what type of material the store bought groceries bags are made of? I am looking at the tags but they don't tell me accept they are recycle-able. TIA ... FIESTA ;D


by cfidl 30 May 2015

I just got some polypropylene material. It is considered a utility fabric and is cheaper than most fabrics at $2.99 a yard. I just happened to get some at 40% discount!

by jrob Moderator 03 Dec 2014

Most that I have appear to be Tyvek.

getEdited - SELECT
by danababes edited 22 Nov 2014

We started phasing out the use of plastic shopping bags quite a while ago in Western Australia so I think I know which fabric you ask about.

I think this is the fabric you're looking for which is what we mostly use now in Australia. We get charged for these (as in they're not free - though I'm told some shops will indeed give them free I'm yet to encounter one). This fabric is nonwoven polypropylene .. link 1 describes this fabric in detail.

The second link describes several "green" bag options that this company offers. The Target shop closest to me (200km away lol) used to use the composting bags. I found them to be very short-term use bags because of the fact they degrade so quickly. Don't leave one in the car for long because you'll come back to bits of bag.

On a side note: I bought some white "diagonal no-show mesh" cut-away stabilser for embroidery and I'm almost certain its the same fabric. I may be wrong. I had a black fabric I wanted to embroider a quilt block on to and tried cutting up a black shopping back and using that as stabilser as it looked and felt like the no-show mesh. Worked fine :)

edit: pfft first link refused to work, adding image manually, borrowed from

1 comment
danababes by danababes 22 Nov 2014

Yay, links work lol

by elizabethak 22 Nov 2014

BTW it costs between 7 and 12 and and the cooler 26. Divide that by 11.25 (rand to US dollar) and you'll figure it cheap enough to buy and give someone employment.

by elizabethak 22 Nov 2014

Here in Port Elizabeth South Africa we have a company called The Hope Factory where unemployed people can make these bags and earn salary. The factory make these bags for the various supermarkets. On close examination the fabric looks like a thicker version of cutaway. It comes in all colours and just about everyone in SA own a dozen of these bags. They even come lined as "cooler Bag". ElizabethAK

by teddybear117 22 Nov 2014

I went to Harbor Freight and purchased a cloth painters drop cloth for's quite large and I can get many out of it and still have a somewhat wide long runner for when I paint.

by angelarowe 22 Nov 2014

I used to work at a mattress factory & the material used on the base tops was called Duracord.(I am not sure of the spelling). The shopping bags seem to be the same material.

by fontmomma 22 Nov 2014

I'm learning to make my own like many people are doing. I got some and washed them and I ended up tossing them. Denim beats store-bought in my view. I am sending some to my son in California as some places are banning plastic bags.

1 comment
teddybear117 by teddybear117 22 Nov 2014

CA-the new law goes into affect after the first of the year here where we will be needing the cloth, etc. bags. I forget just what stores will still be allowed to use plastic bags for a short time...convenience stores was one.

by dsilva9840 21 Nov 2014

I have made some of those bags myself. I have used canvas, duck cloth, denim and bottom weight material. I made them over a year ago and they are used every week for greocery shopping and they are still going strong.

mad14kt by mad14kt 21 Nov 2014

Thanks for sharing...I bet you enjoyed making them ;D

dsilva9840 by dsilva9840 23 Nov 2014

They don't take long to make. I made ten in an afternoon. I have also made bunches for family. They were fun to make.

by katydid 21 Nov 2014

I was going to make some garden flags and don't know what they are made of either. Kay

1 comment
mad14kt by mad14kt 21 Nov 2014

Thanks Kay!!! Your flags should come out well because the bag looked like it wasn't a problem to sew ;D

by babash 21 Nov 2014

I am pretty sure it is recycled drink bottles. Polypropylene. it what is on my bags. There is also a similar fabric used by mattress companies and it is used on the under side of the mattress.

1 comment
mad14kt by mad14kt 21 Nov 2014

Thanks for sharing this info ... it definitely is recycled ;D

by designgirl 21 Nov 2014

Some here are made of a heavy tyvek. Like the disposable suits they wear when cleaning out asbestos, only a little heavier.

1 comment
mad14kt by mad14kt 21 Nov 2014

Thanks ... this reminds me of the bag ;D

by joansatx 21 Nov 2014

We have bags of several types of material. I do know the soft mesh type fabric can't take any steam because it melts. I found out all by myself! We can leave them in a 120'F car here in south central Texas but no direct ironing!

1 comment
mad14kt by mad14kt 21 Nov 2014

Thanks for sharing ;D This one don't seems like it would melt too!

by 02kar Moderator 21 Nov 2014

I think you can use any fabric you want to use and any color. What a great project to reuse fabric from sheets or curtains.

1 comment
mad14kt by mad14kt 21 Nov 2014

Thanks!!! I was wondering because my job always give out bags but I am curious what fabric it is. I have used many fabrics to make bags but this one have me intrigued ;D

by rachap 21 Nov 2014

I have seen several different fabrics used. The ones I have are canvas, very sturdy and washable.

mad14kt by mad14kt 21 Nov 2014

Thanks. It KIND of almost remind me of those disposable hospital gowns fabric but stronger ;D

lilylady by lilylady 21 Nov 2014

I agree, when I feel them, I try to figure out what material it is. I'm sure recycled.