I’m going to donate one free copy of my upcoming earthbag book to the first person who locates a US supplier of raschel mesh bags. (Must be a type of bag or tube that’s suitable for earthbag building. Check carefully. There’s a 3/8″x3/8″ (approx.) mesh bag made of threads that soil would probably fall through.)

There’s probably at least one US supplier because the bags are used to pack fruit and vegetables. It seems like California is the most likely place to look due to the large agricultural production in the area.

Another option is to email the major suppliers in China and ask for contact info of US distributors. All it takes is one good source…
—————————————————————-
We have a winner, folks. A reader who goes by the name techSam sent links to two companies that carry raschel mesh bags. TechSam wins a free copy of my book when it becomes available in a few weeks. A big thank you to those who sent suggestions.

United Bags, Inc.
Volm Companies, Inc.
(His third suggestion of a company that carries crawfish bags may or may not work, so I won’t post the information at this time. But maybe someone can test those bags and report back to us.)

TechSam also located a supplier that sells rolls of the same mesh material!
Plaspack USA, Inc.

Note: Use due diligence to ensure you have the right product before making a purchase. (Compare to the close-up photos on our site, order one sample bag, check sizes, etc.) These companies have lots of similar products. We’ll be posting more details as we have time to help make sure you get the right bags.

Update: Evie sent this suggestion. TechSam beat her out by just minutes, so I’m going to think of a suitable runner-up prize for her effort.
Uline

Update: TechSam located some more companies.
MasterNet LTD They make wattle netting that may or may not work. TechSam said they also sell mesh bags.
Bag Supplies Canada
JumboSack They sell mesh bags and poly tubes.
DelStar Inc. Bags and rolls, but I can’t tell if this is the same kind of material.

Chris sent this recommendation:
Fruit Grower’s Supply Company in California
Chris suggests googling fruit packaging supplies or potato packaging supplies and you should get a selection to choose from that is closer to you. He also said the manufacturers in China are cheap! .01-.02 a bag. The weights of the rolls don’t seem too bad either. Around 2 kg = 4.4 lbs.

Jozef at anaturalplanet.info sent these recommendations:
Online Fabric Store Look under Bags and Sacks if the link doesn’t work correctly.
Alibaba.com Search mesh raschel if the link doesn’t work.

Here’s two more I found:
Hemei Plastic Products Company Limited
NYP Corp. 18×32” red & white poly mesh bags with a black draw tape for closing. Minimum order is 1,000 bags $.37 each plus shipping


Comments

Contest for Finding U.S. Mesh Bag Supplier — 15 Comments

  1. I would like to also mention that many bag suppliers have a minimum purchase.
    I was trying to get a 1000 ft of raschel to test from Volm. They will only sell full rolls and have a $250 dollar minimum order. $250 dollars to test a material that may not work is a bit pricey to me. The sample they sent looked promising, but was too small to test.

    • These companies really need to send a useful sample like one bag, otherwise there’s no way to know for sure if it will withstand heavy pounding.

      But bit by bit we’re accumulating lists of suppliers and testing their products. Eventually some companies will come out on top and make the whole process much easier.

  2. From Milton:
    Contact: Annmarie Lambertson
    Wasserman Bag Co.
    70 Commerce Pl.
    Hicksville, NY 11801
    (516) 681-5900
    (516) 681-5905 Fax

    50lb bags
    Used onion bags .23
    New onion bags .33

    Master bag is 21 x 32 .225

  3. Thanks Owen. None of the sources listed above are anywhere close to 6 cents each. The cheapest for raschel that I have found is Wholesale Discount (http://www.wholesalediscountmarket.com/acatalog/Onion_Bags.html) and they are 19 cents a piece before shipping. Located in Florida, the shipping to the West costs more then the bags. Even the places that offer used solid poly bags want almost as much as new. I had one outfit in the south east want over 30 cents a piece for a used 18×30 bag. Misprints were the same. Raschel or regular mesh which should be much less expensive is almost as high as the regular solid bags. I have found no one who offers the raschel or mesh used. The only place that had a fairly good deal on non mesh was the bag supplier from Oregon (Pacific Packaging). Unfortunately the shipping makes these bags unreasonable for people who live out of state.
    I would hazard a guess that most of us who want to build using earthbags are on a fairly tight budget. High shipping costs can eat up a bunch of money fast.

    I will look to see if there are any juice marketers in the LA area that buy fruit in bags.

  4. I contacted Fruit Growers Supply in Riverside Ca today. I was hoping to find a reasonably priced and close distance wise source of bags. Unfortunately Fruit Growers is not it. Their best price in quantity for 18×30 mesh bags was 56 cents each if purchased in lots of a 1000 or more. Less then a 1000 the price went up to 68 cents. I will keep searching.

    • I recommend looking for companies who use the bags and have large quantities left over. That’s what I do. I’m paying 6 cents each. I could probably buy in bulk and get them even cheaper. I’m not saying everyone can do this, but it’s certainly worth a try. Plus, you’ll be using a recycled product and keeping the bags out of the landfill.

      So here’s the basic process:
      1. Ask the bag manufacturer/supplier who is buying these bags, or at least find out what they’re commonly used for (transporting limes?, etc.).
      2. Try to track down who is buying the limes (wholesale fruit buyers?, juice factories?).
      3. Approach the end user (factory, etc.) and try to buy the used bags in bulk, making sure they’re still in good condition. You should be able to find the bags after they’ve been used one time. This means they should be in mint condition. They’re very strong and shouldn’t be damaged from just one use. The bags we used were tamped extremely hard and did not tear, so it seems highly unlikely the bags would be damaged by sitting in the back of a truck.

      I’ll probably turn this into a blog post because this could help lots of people. Thanks for contributing and please let us know the results of your search, whether successful or not. Maybe we can all learn from your experience.

  5. I am a reasearcher, so this is just too much fun to stop.

    This place makes net bags, but also bags specifically for erosion control:

    http://www.masternetltd.com/vexar-other-vexar-products.php

    This place is in Canada, but has a broad variety of net/mesh bags:

    http://www.bagsupplies.com/netbags.htm

    Delstar sells by the roll, and lists the hole size. There is one size that is 1/4″

    http://www.delstarinc.com/pdf/DelStar-Food-Safe-2004.pdf

    And last is Jumbo Sack, which includes superadobe tube as one of the applications for their custom bags, and they sell mesh bags, so they may be a good source since they understand the intended use:

    http://www.jumbosack.com/js_product.html

    • Congratulations techSam. You are the official winner. I posted the announcement on our blog at the bottom of the post, and sent you an email. Thanks for help. I’ll be in contact when my book is finished. (About one month.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.