What is a Gusset?

Alyssa Mertes

Promo Expert

Published: July 23rd, 2020

When you hear the word "gusset," what comes to mind? Do you think it has something to do with fishing? Maybe you're picturing a weird weapon. It turns out, a gusset has many uses, not limited to bridge building, food packaging, and pants wearing.

What is a gusset? How's it used? Let's dive into everything you need to know about this handy item!

When Were Gussets Invented?

When Were Gussets Invented?

The word "gusset" was first used in 13th century France to describe the armpit of a suit of armor. Medieval knights could have been stabbed in this area during jousting matches, but the gusset kept them out of harm's way.

Fast forward to today and gussets are used to add durability and mobility to a variety of products, from construction equipment to blue jeans. They are designed to provide additional support and eliminate stress.

When Were Gussets Invented?

How Do Gussets Work?

How Do Gussets Work? https://www.homedepot.com

In construction, gusset plates are connected via welding, bolts, or rivets. This is done using heavy duty equipment for large projects, like a skyscraper or new city bridge. For smaller projects, like home improvement, you can find gussets in a variety of shapes and sizes from hardware stores like Home Depot or Menards.

How Do Gussets Work? https://www.homedepot.com

Why Are Gussets Used?

Gussets are used by a variety of industries, from construction to fashion, to add strength and flexibility to their products. This piece is made from either fabric, plastic, metal, or wood and can be found in:

  • Clothes
  • Tote bags
  • Construction projects
  • Home improvement
  • Food packaging


Diamond or triangular gussets are sewn onto undergarments, blue jeans, flannels, or collared shirts. Without this piece, you might have embarrassing ripping when you reach to a high shelf or bend over to pick something up.

Tote Bags

Tote Bags

Cotton, canvas, or leather tote bags may contain a gusset at the bottom. This addition helps the bags hold heavier objects, like books or groceries, without tearing.



Fishplates, or as they're also known gusset plates, are used to connect different beams and columns in buildings or bridges. They're made from wood or heavy metals like steel or aluminum.

Home Improvement

Home Improvement

If you're building a new deck or porch, you'll need to attach the beams together using a wood gusset. This item comes in handy for a variety of home repairs.

Food Packaging

Food Packaging

Go to the grocery store and you'll see gussets in everything from bags of pasta to boxes of strawberries. They are designed to help the package expand and hold a larger quantity.

Did you know?

Metal gussets are commonly found in robots to add joint mobility!

What Are the Different Gusset Types for Food Packaging?

Food packaging is an industry that relies heavily on gussets, which provide extra durability and support to bags and containers. The different styles include:

  • Round bottom
  • "K" style
  • Plow bottom
  • Side
Round Bottom https://www.clearbags.com/

Round Bottom

This type of gusset is found at the bottom of pouches and bags that hold dried foods like nuts and candies.

K Style http://www.elif.com/

"K" Style

The "K" style gusset is added to the bottom of the bag and helps it stand upright. It's most handy for packaging moderate to heavy products like fruits and veggies.

Plow Bottom https://www.samsclub.com/

Plow Bottom

This gusset is added to the bottom of bags to help them stay upright even when the weight is reduced. You'll see plow bottom gussets in bags of sugar or flour.

Side https://www.sav-onbags.com/


Bags with this type of gusset are entirely flat on the bottom. The gusset is located on the side to help the container maintain its boxed shape.

Why Are Gussets Important?

The gusset is one of those little, forgotten about items that makes a huge difference. Everything from the blue jeans you wear on the weekends to the bridge you use for your morning commute is more durable thanks to this tiny item.

Why Are Gussets Important?

The Bottom Line

Who would have thought such a small item could be so significant? From your afternoon snack to the Golden Gate Bridge, there's a whole world out there that relies on gussets!

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. As a promo expert, she's uncovered the world's first custom tote bag, interviewed the guy behind rock band ACDC's logo, and had a piece published by the Advertising Specialty Institute, a leader in the promotional products industry.


Online Etymology Dictionary. (2018). Gusset. Retrieved March 15, 2018, from https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=gusset

ABC Packaging Direct. (2018). Different Styles of Gussets for Pouch Bags. Retrieved March 15, 2018, from https://www.standuppouches.net/blog/different-styles-of-gussets-for-pouch-bags

The Renaissance Tailor. (2018). History, Definitions, and Uses – Gussets. Retrieved March 15, 2018, from http://www.renaissancetailor.com/demos_goresgussets.htm

Do it Yourself. (2018). Gusset. Retrieved from, https://www.doityourself.com/stry/manufactured-house-vs-regular-home