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What is a tote bag? Here are some things you must know about tote bags

weihanbag  December 6, 2022

What is a tote bag?

A tote bag or tote, as defined in basic terminologies such as Collins English Dictionary and Wikipedia, is a large, sturdy bag with two parallel handles, usually with the mouth of the bag unfastened and a few with buttons or zippers to secure the top.

Canvas tote bags occupy an unshakeable position in the tote bag market. Tote bags are larger than the average handbag, and various sizes are available. Commonly made materials include canvas, cotton and linen, nylon, etc., with PU accents on the carry handles or edges. Many brands use leather to create stylish and advanced tote bags.

The history of tote bags

In the earliest days, the tote was a verb meaning "to carry" and referred to the transport of goods in bags. Later, due to the widespread use of tote, tote began to evolve from a verb to a noun. People agree that the first orthodox origin of the tote bag is the ice bag designed by LL Bean in the 1940s. Initially, this large and robust, durable canvas material ice bag was designed to transport the ice. Still, people soon discovered that LL Bean's ice bags could hold more than just ice. Ice bag is an excellent container for storage and easy to carry around. In the 1960s, LL Bean upgraded its original ice bag with a more beautiful look and durable materials. And American designer Bonnie Cashin designed an elegant leather "Cashin Carry" tote bag for Coach, which pushed the development of tote bags to another climax. The tote bag of this period also began to have a more stylish atmosphere in addition to its practicality. In the 80s, marked with store promotional information, cheap canvas tote bag and tote bag design pinnacle of expensive leather Birkin bags were born. Until now, Tot bag, from business to life, from expensive to cheap, has permeated our lives and has become indispensable household items!

Tang Dynasty Tote Bag

China has been producing tote bags for thousands of years. In China, the tote bag from the two rivers civilization period is traceable. Excavated artefacts indicate that people at that time already knew how to use cotton and linen materials to make simple tote bags. The Tang Dynasty ushered in the fashion boom of tote bags, and many wall paintings and pottery show men and women using tote bags. Since the 21st century, more and more importers have realized that Chinese tote bags are inexpensive and well-made. Wholesale tote bags from China have become the first choice for many brands.

Tote bag size

Regarding the size of the tote bag, there is no uniform standard for oversized tote bags to mini tote bags. Weihan, multiple tote bag products, support to customize your size! Here is the size chart for reference.

  • Large: Large size is 30 inches wide * 24 inches high. This bag looks big because it is suitable for people who need to put many things in it. Laptop, books, etc., put it all in.
  • Medium: Medium size measures 25 inches wide * and 18 inches high. Medium tote bags are suitable for those things that are not particularly large but occupy a certain amount of space, such as folding umbrellas, sports cups, etc.
  • Small: Small size is 22 inches wide * 14 inches high. Small tote bags accommodate limited space but enough to cope with your short-term travel. Cell phones, wallets, keys, etc., can be put into the small tote bag.

What Is the Best Fabric for Tote Bags?

Tote bags are available in various materials: canvas, denim, jute, leather, nylon, etc. There have been many different opinions about the best tote bag fabric. Canvas tote bags, polyester tote bags and cotton tote bags are inexpensive and sturdy. They are the best fabric tote bags for distributors who need large wholesale quantities. The following is a brief introduction to the characteristics of several common materials tote bags.

Canvas Tote Bags

Canvas is a very durable fabric made of cotton using plain weave. Canvas tote bags are lightweight and easy to store, perfect for heavy items such as books and vegetables. Canvas tote bags are wear-resistant and environmentally friendly, in line with the current concept of reusability, and the subsequent cleaning and storage are very convenient. On the other hand, the canvas is also a perfect printing fabric. Customizing your brand logo promotional message on canvas tote bags will surely spread longer and broader than expected.

Jute Tote Bags

The jute tote bag has a unique rough texture. Jute is a plant fibre mainly used to make coarse linen. These tough fibres can withstand heavy loads, are easy to recycle, and are biodegradable. The rough surface of jute tote bags is not suitable for direct logo printing, and the products are primarily in primary colour jute tote bags. However, due to the low cost of processing jute tote bags, in line with low carbon and environmental protection, it is very suitable for many wholesale shopping bags.

Cotton Tote Bags

The primary raw material in cotton tote bags is cotton, which is easy to produce, has a moderate price, and is friendly to the environment. Cotton tote bags are not as strong as canvas tote bags, but cotton tote bags' fabric is sweat-absorbent, skin-friendly, and more comfortable. Cotton tote bags are not easy to wear elastic, smooth and soft surface is easy to print embroidery. Still, at the same time, cotton tote bags can only withstand less heavy items. Cotton tote bags, like cotton clothes, can also be used in the washing machine for subsequent cleaning. Just paying attention to shrinkage will be fine.

Polyester Tote Bags

The polyester tote bag has high strength and elasticity and is solid and durable. The most important feature is anti-wrinkle, reasonable shaping force, and no deformation for many times use. At Weihan, for a wholesale polyester tote bag, you will have a variety of colours to choose from, multiple compartments to meet the needs of different scenarios, and custom exclusive slogan polyester tote bags for perfect business promotions.

Leather Tote Bags

Leather tote bags are hard-wearing, sturdy and usually made from the skins of equine animals such as cattle and sheep and aquatic animals such as buffalo, seals and crocodiles chemically tanned. Due to the precious raw materials and complex processing, the price of leather tote bags is significantly higher than other tote bags. But it is still the fashion world's darling because of its smooth surface, bright colours and other characteristics.

8 Strategies for Using Tote Bags


Tote bags are sometimes called shopping bags and are often used in grocery stores, clothing stores and supermarkets. Among them, canvas tote bags are strong and durable, the most widely used, and have a large enough capacity to help you bring your purchases home quickly. Canvas tote bags, jute tote bags and most other tote bags are reusable, last longer than plastic shopping bags and are friendly to the environment.


Tedious work? You can spice up your mood with a brightly coloured tote bag. A tote bag is big enough to hold your commuting essentials, whether on your way to work or off. You also can carry your lunch box or more delicious treats with the canvas-insulated tote bag.


Nowadays, the number of books and workbooks for students is getting smaller and smaller. More often than not, only a small amount of books, paper, and pencils are needed, and bringing along electronic devices such as pads is enough. And a tote bag is enough to free your shoulders from the backpack.


The tote bag is your best choice when you go to beach games or a picnic in the park. A tote bag can prevent sand splash and direct sunlight, and you can put towels, sunscreen, swimwear, fans and other items in it. Similarly, in a picnic plan, you can prepare a large tote bag to hold picnic mats, utensils, paper towels, water and other items.


Choose the right size tote bag according to the amount of your luggage. Choose a small or medium size tote bag for a short time out, and choose a large or oversized one for a long time out or overnight. Tote bags are also an excellent choice when travelling, in addition to specialized duffel bags.

Laundry bag

Use small tote bags to temporarily store your dirty clothes until you have time to wash them in the machine. Some tote bags can also be helpful for dirty clothes, especially if you are travelling without a laundry bag. Take the tote laundry bag to the laundromat or coin-operated washing machines.

Carry-on items

Whether a canvas or a leather tote, it can be your fashion item for some simple social occasions. While holding your belongings, a tote bag is also one of your carry-on items.


Tote bags have a large volume to hold things so they can store items more than appropriate. Tote bags can hold unused toys, expired magazines and reserved food to keep your room neat and organized.

Custom and wholesale Weihan tote bag

The natural jute tote bag's geometric structure provides exceptional support and durability. Daily tote bag for travel, beach, picnics, lunches and work.

Made of PVC material, waterproof and reliable, lightweight and sturdy, exquisite in artistry and not easy to break. Reusable and portable to carry.

Round ladies crossbody bag New fashion classic shoulder tote bag. PU large capacity shopping travel bag.

Use high-quality Oxford cloth material; this fabric is environmentally friendly, waterproof and fashionable in design. A super thick and practical foldable environmental protection tote bag used as a leisure bag is also a good choice!

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