Qingdao Mingsheng's model FM 676 straw bag has PVC leather handles and polyester lining. The price is $4.02.
Wheat straw and cornhusk are valued for flexibility, while sustainable jute gains ground.
China suppliers of woven bags are leveraging the unique characteristics of different materials to create diverse designs.
Wheat and paper straw are the most commonly used types. The former comes in 0.5cm wide strips, which are flattened into a thin sheet during the plaiting process. The natural color is light yellow. Paper straw is made by rolling plies of the compressed cellulose into lines for braiding. It is softer than wheat and must be tinted to provide a uniform tone.
Cornhusk is also widely applied. The shell is tough and can be twisted into narrow or wide bands depending on the desired texture for the product.
Jute is becoming a popular option among makers because it is environment-friendly. According to some studies, 1ha of the plant consumes 15 tons of carbon dioxide and releases 11 tons of oxygen during one growing season. Although coarse to the touch, jute is very durable and can be blended with cotton and wool. Anhui Province Jichuan Imp. & Exp. Co. Ltd is one of the companies adopting the fiber in the majority of its models.
Water-resistant sea grass is suitable for beach totes and styles intended for the rainy spring months. Raffia is pliable, easy to dye and does not shrink even when exposed to moisture.
Wicker from cane, rattan and bamboo is seldom employed due to rigidity. It is, however, a good choice for designs that need to retain their form.
All inputs are locally available, but some suppliers obtain sea grass from Vietnam.
China-made straw bags come in an array of shapes, including square, rectangular, spherical and bucket contours. Casual models are usually fitted with short or long handles, or cross-body straps in the same material as the body. PU leather, wood, rope and bamboo can also be utilized. Envelope clutches and minaudieres for evening are offered.
The lining normally comes in cotton or polyester fabric. The trimming options are embroidery, beads, rhinestones, sequins and rosettes. Metal feet are affixed to the bottom to prevent wear.
Products are dyed with azo-free colorants. They are steamed to withstand moths and corrosion. Nearly all makers have phased out ozone-depleting methyl bromide for this treatment.
Prices range from $3 to $8 depending on the materials and complexity of the design. Quotes are expected to increase at least 5 percent in the next six months due to rising material and labor costs, and the appreciation of the yuan.
In particular, rates for sea grass have jumped 75 percent since the beginning of 2010 due to weather disturbances. Those for wheat straw also spike before the harvesting period. Salaries have also been augmented about 20 percent since March 2010.