When a flood’s about to arrive, so are the sandbags. Over the years, sandbags have been made from a variety of materials, including burlap and polypropylene as well as a few others. Once manufactured, the bags are filled with sand or soil, and placed strategically about a city to prevent more flooding where possible. Volunteers are instructed to build “dikes” or “levees,” and often times, these piles of sandbags will be seen near rivers and bridges for added, and necessary, flood prevention.
Sandbags have been used since the 18th century, when they were traditionally used for military purposes. First more commonly made of burlap, times have progressed and sandbags are now popularly made from polypropylene plastic, and are sent to flood-endangered areas by the thousands. With its history of devastating floods, Iowa and other Midwestern states have many businesses and organizations that volunteer to send sandbags to the affected areas, and citizens band together to fill the bags before the floods hit.
Sandbags have continued to retain their popularity thanks to three main advantages. When preparing for a flood, bags and the sand to fill them are considerably inexpensive, and can easily be brought empty to the site and then filled with sand upon arrival. After the flood has passed, sandbags are easily transported and stored once emptied, though there has been a voiced concern about the possible contamination of the sand from floodwater. In constructing and deconstructing sandbag efforts, it’s of utmost importance that volunteers follow directions, like those in the video we’ve posted below, for the safest and most effective levees and dikes.
Though you might be most familiar with cotton as a clothing fabric, the non-allergenic natural fiber has many purposes. The cotton plant is one of the most economical crops because nearly every part of the plant can be utilized: lint, cottonseed, linters, stalks, and seed hulls.
One cotton bale alone can produce 250 single bed sheets, 1,200 t-shirts, 215 pairs of jeans, 2,100 pairs of boxer shorts, 3,000 nappies, 680,000 cotton balls, or 4,300 pairs of socks. Pretty useful, huh?
Since cotton doesn’t irritate sensitive skin, its softness is preferred in making underwear and other clothing worn close to the skin. Cotton’s adaptability allows it to easily blend amongst other fibers and synthetics, and its also extremely receptive to dyes. Cotton is also used in making tents, car tire cord, fishnets, and book binding.
In addition to clothing, cotton makes an ideal medical product. Its adaptability allows the fabric to hold up to 27 times its own weight in water, and it actually becomes stronger when wet. Because of these properties, cotton is often used as a bandage or swab in the medical environment.
From the cotton seed, you can use the oil for cooking and the seed as feed for livestock—surprisingly, cottonseed provides a wealth of energy for livestock. Cottonseed can also be used in a number of industrial products like soap, margarine, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, paints, rubbers, water proofing materials, and candles.
At Commercial Bag and Supply, we order bulk rolls of cotton that can be cut and sewn to your exact dimensions. To learn more about our manufacturing process or to request a quote for your next project, please contact us here!
Commercial Bag & Supply
1244 2nd Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50314
Toll Free: 1-800-383-1269