What the Heck is a Gusset? And Other Terminology Concerns
Even though I work for a promotional products company, there are certain words that throw me for a loop. When I needed to write a product description about one of our reusable tote bags, I was caught up on the word “gusset.”
As it turns out, I’m not the only one. So after gathering a few more suggestions from my fellow coworkers, I decided to define these crazy terms to clear up any concerns.
Outside of the promo items industry, a gusset is a piece of fabric that is placed inside of a seam to reduce the stress of tight clothing. Basically, to give yourself a little room to breathe.
When it comes to tote bags, the gusset is the material that makes the sides and bottom of the bag. The front and back panels attach to the gusset so you are able to fit more in your bag.
The tote bag on the left has no gusset, the one on the right has a gusset and expands the capacity of the bag.
Another way to think of it is like depth. If a tote bag says that it has a gusset of four inches, then that means when fully expanded, there are four inches of space between the front and back.
2. Non-woven polypropylene
The next confusing term also relates to reusable bags. Many reusable tote bags are now made from non-woven polypropylene. Unlike canvas or cotton totes, non-woven polypropylene fabric is made from plastic.
Non-woven polypropylene is popular right now because it’s durable, lightweight, inexpensive to produce, recyclable, and made from other recycled plastics.
The non-woven polypropylene bag on the left is able to stand on its own unlike the cotton tote bag on the right.
If you are interested in learning more about non-woven polypropylene, we have an extensive article about it here in our library.
Also known as eyelets, grommets are rings inserted into fabric. Generally, they are used to strengthen that particular area of fabric.
The most common use of grommets is for shoelace holes (for Chuck Taylor All Stars, on the side, too), but they can also be used to make handles in tote bags or tie strings for drawstring backpacks.
The tote bag on the left has two large grommets for handles while the backpack on the right has two small ones for the drawstrings.
Even if a particular material doesn’t need reinforcement, grommets can be used for decorative purposes, too.
The word “plunger” has an instant connotation to the bathroom. But when it comes to promotional products, I promise that plungers have nothing to do with that.
In the promotional items world, “plunger” is the top of the click pen, also known as the part you click to plunge out the tip to start writing.
Click pens, like the one on the left, have plungers. Cap pens, like the one on the right, do not.
Plungers are essential to click pens, but you aren’t going to find them on cap or twist pens.
Carabiners are metal loops with clips. They are used to connect two things together and are an increasingly popular way to hold keys, water bottles, and other items. They can hook to loops on pants or backpacks.
Sometimes they come attached to other products (like water bottles), but you can also buy them as solo products.
Carabiners can be bought as a solo item, or they can come on water bottles like pictured on the right.
Heavy-duty carabiners are used for recreational activities like rock climbing and sailing. However, please do not use any promotional carabiners for these types of activities – they may not meet safety standards for extreme physical activity. They will be great for holding your keys, though.
I hope I’ve helped clear up what some of these terms mean! Stay tuned because I’ll be writing another post about terms specifically related to the printing process.
Were any of these words tripping you up? Are there any words – specifically related to promotional products – that are still confusing?