When I receive calls about tote bags, the most important thing for a customer to understand is what the material feels like. Being that it is difficult to know what the material will feel like, here is a list that I find helpful on our top three styles:
Non-Woven: Feels like the reusable bags in the grocery store or a thick dryer sheet.
This is lower end and popular due to the price point; however, it is not an item I recommend for long-term use. When imprinting on this bag I usually suggest a one-color image. While you can print multiple colors (even four-color process), the cost to do so negates the low price point of the bag. I recommend this custom tote bag for tradeshows and store giveaways.
Polyester: A thicker more rigid material.
Polyester bags are extremely durable and good to carry heavier items in such as books. My favorite polyester bag I sell is item 32253. A one-color imprint works well on this material as well, or you can do a transfer of many colors. I recommend spending a little more money on this type of custom tote bag, as people will keep this bag for a long time. It does not have the disposable feel of the non-woven bags. This style bag is nice to give out at a bookstore or school.
Cotton/Canvas: A softer material but also sturdy. Can range in different thicknesses as well.
The heavier, the better! Many boat totes/beach bags are made of cotton canvas. Being that most of the boat totes are a tan color with a brighter color handle and trim, printing a matching color or bright colors looks really nice. They are great as a handout for beaches, picnics or concerts.
So there you have it: the three top types of materials of custom tote bags. Choose whichever one best fits your budget and marketing needs, and call Motivators with any questions!