Why Are There Different Shades Of Brown Paper Bags?

Paper bags are an environmentally friendly packaging solution. These brown shopping bags are from Kraft paper for its environmental protection, cost-saving, and recyclability. On the international market, Kraft paper packaging meets environmental protection requirements for its exceptional strength when used in boxes. Additionally, packaging with Kraft paper doesn’t need additional testing at customs in international trade.

Production of Kraft paper is through a sulfate treatment process for varieties including natural brown, unbleached, bleached white, and heavy-duty. Natural Kraft paper is stronger making it ideal for use to make shopping bags. Additionally, this paper is ideal for packaging various heavy items like dried fruits, flour, vegetables, and sugar. Brown shopping bags are popular in grocery stores and departmental stores. These have a bottom gusset reinforced with extra paper sheets. The beauty of these bags is easy recycling and reuse for a couple of times before wearing out. 

Available shades of brown Kraft paper bags

It is a good idea to invest in brown shopping bags in bulk for your commercial application. Shopping bags in fine-quality Kraft paper suit various business requirements regardless of finish, size, weight, and brand. The best thing about Kraft shopping bags is available in various shades of brown in options including:

  • Brown-grey
  • Metallic bronze, sandstone
  • Desert storm
  • Brown brown paper
  • Desert haze paper
  • Grey grey
  • Driftwood paper
  • Balsa paper

Factors responsible for thedifferent shades of brown paper bags

Presence of impurities

You can buy brown paper bags from natural Kraft paper. This has surface impurities that give it a relatively dim shade. This Kraft paper is commonly outer packaging to shook proof, moisture-proof, and dustproof packages. Some shopping bags are with single-side smooth Kraft paper with a face through original pulp coating. This gives the paper a bright yellow-brown and smooth surface. The other side maintains the original brown color of Kraft paper for having impurities.

Production process

Kraft paper is from wood pulp and recycled pulp. This gives the paper its characteristics. Finished Kraft paper from wood pulp or recycled pulp has color variation. This explains the different shades of brown in the various batches. An explanation for this is the difference in the production season and production equipment. This allows the production of Kraft paper with various shades of brown. However, the deviation is not so significant with about 99 consistencies for each batch.

Manufacturer specification

The bleaching of Kraft paper has a significant effect on color variation. Shopping bags from natural Kraft paper that isn’t bleached has a light brown color. Alternatively, bags from bleached paper are white. Unbleached Kraft paper is popular for making shopping bags with exceptional strength that make them ideal as grocery bags, plain wrapping paper, industrial bags, and multiwall inner sacks. Bleached shopping bags are commonly appropriate where printability, strength, and appearance are significant.

Coating or lamination

For enhanced barrier and additional strength, coating or lamination of Kraft paper is required. Adding polyamine or polyamide resin into the Kraft fiber and curing under heat produces paper with wet strength. This allows the paper to retain triple its dry strength making it to produce shopping bags that remain intact in high humidity conditions. Shopping bags with coated Kraft paper have a beautiful look since the coating significantly improves printing effects.


The color variation of Kraft shopping bags depends on the purpose. Paper for making bags for the food packaging industry tends to be brown-yellow. This Kraft paper comes in options including double color paper with one pure bright yellow for having refined Kraft paper. The other option is paper with stripes. Both these Kraft paper options are high grade and come at a premium price. Paper bags in the food industry meet quality standards to give customers peace of mind.

The benefit of ensuring food-grade Kraft paper for the shopping bags is the fluorescent agent content. Too much is harmful to human health and making the paper bright white requires adding brightener. Manufactures can add too much phosphor to brighten the paper during production. Phosphor is not good for human health with long-term exposure coming with a risk of causing cancer.

Environmental benefit of Kraft paper bags

Apart from being environmentally friendly, Kraft paper shopping bags are tasteless and non-toxic. These bags are recyclable allowing the environment to retain its beauty. Kraft shopping bags have exceptional printing performance without the need for full-page printing. Simple lines are enough to produce exquisite patterns for packaging effects that give the shopping bags a high-end appeal.

Additionally, printing on Kraft bags is considerably low for having a shorter production cycle. Other benefits of Kraft shopping bags include:

  • Reduced processing performance
  • Exceptional buffering
  • Great fall resistance
  • Good stiffness


Kraft paper bags make good packaging for their environmental friendliness and cost-effectiveness. These bags are made from brown paper but this comes in various shades resulting from the type of wood pulp, production process, and presence of impurities. 

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