Why Use Duck Cloth for Cornhole Bags?

Using Duck Cloth for Cornhole Bags

With so many options out there, you may be wondering why so many people rave about using duck cloth for cornhole bags. Could it be the timing of the game’s conception and that players want to honor the cornhole tradition? Or, is it simply because duck cloth is the best suited material for the job? Well, it’s in part due to a bit of both.

Timing of Cornhole’s Conception

To start things off, duck cloth originated sometime during the thirteenth century. It was wildly popular in the art and fashion industries, being used in items like clothing, as well as artistic creations. This happened to be about a century before the game of cornhole was conceived in Germany. Somewhere along the process of creating official gameplay pieces, duck cloth started being used for making cornhole bags. This may have had to do with the availability of different fabrics at the time, but duck cloth was chosen nonetheless.

What’s even more interesting is that despite the passing of time, this classic game is still played to this day using bags made from duck cloth. In fact, the American Cornhole Association requires the use of this material for official tournament compliant cornhole bags. This suggests that maybe, just maybe duck cloth has the physical qualities that make it the right fabric for the job.

The Duck Cloth Tradition

So, why with all of the advancements of our world, do we still use duck cloth for cornhole bags over alternative fabrics like polyester blended materials? Lucky for you, we’ve already done the research and have compiled an extensive list of reasons. Let’s dive in.

  • Reliable Durability

Let’s begin with the component that really sets duck cloth apart from other fabrics. Going back to our discussion earlier for past uses, duck cloth was used in history for more than just art and fashion. Its reputation for being durable and versatile didn’t just come out of thin air. The material was used for a variety of purposes from things like boat sails, sand bags and more. You can find duck cloth in a variety of thicknesses and weights that support these other uses.

Material

Regardless, it is a material you can rely on to withstand heavy use, making it perfect for the construction of cornhole bags. The best part is that you won’t have to worry about having the bag will split open each time you go to toss it.  This gives you some more options in terms of where you want to play a game of cornhole. Now you can play anywhere whether it’s a parking lot, indoor facility, or wherever else you may choose.

  • Consistent Performance

Not only does the durability of duck cloth help to keep your cornhole bags intact, it also allows for consistent performance. Specifically, since the thickness of the material contributes to its strength, duck cloth tends to be heavier than most synthetic fabrics. This is good though, since the bags will feel as they should in terms of weight.

You can’t always rely on polyester bags to deliver this experience, as the material itself is thinner in nature. The sturdy nature of duck cloth also contributes to its smooth and tough qualities. This comes in the benefit of not having the bags get caught on any abrasions in your cornhole boards. Between these two qualities, you can set your expectations about how a game of cornhole should be played.

  • Water Resistant Material

It just keeps getting better. Since duck cloth is woven so tightly, this trait acts as a water resistant barrier. Think about all those times you’ve played a game when the grass is still a little damp. If you’ve experienced this, then you’ll know how extremely helpful this is for maintaining your cornhole set. No longer will you have to worry about the ground being damp from the morning dew or following a rain shower. The bonus is that this makes them mold and mildew resistant too. Preventing water from soaking through the fabric, duck cloth prevents the buildup of moisture inside the bags.

  • Wind Proof Qualities

Another benefit stemming from the fact that duck cloth is woven so tightly is that it is wind proof. Since there’s no gaps in the tightly woven material, there’s no way for air to seep inside. This may not seem like a huge benefit, but think about a situation where these bags weren’t wind proof. It would go something like this. Whenever you tried to make a toss on those windy days, your cornhole bag would be thrown of course from being picked up by the wind. Although this would add another element of complexity to the game, it may become frustrating as well. By using duck cloth, the graceful descent of the cornhole bag will break through the wind without interference.

  • Treatable for Extended Use

Sometimes people need reassurance and that’s understandable. Perfect for those of you, duck cloth allows for further treatment if you feel the need to reinforcement its water and wind resistant qualities. Specifically, you can use chemical products to add a further layer of protection against things like water and dew. Anything along these lines would help to prevent any moisture absorption and buildup. Take the extra steps necessary to eliminate any factors that could be a detriment to the performance of your cornhole bags.

  • Low Maintenance

Compared to other fabrics, it has been said that duck cloth is considered to be low maintenance. Duck cloth itself is machine washable, though we do not recommend doing this once they have been filled with corn kernels. An alternative would be to wipe them with a damp cloth in order to remove any dirt and stains. However, the natural color of duck cloth alone tends to hide any signs of dirtiness. Often it blends in among the tan, off white or brown hues. You can never go wrong with something that only requires your attention when it means having fun.

  • Custom Designs

If that last point about the bleak colors scared you off a little, there’s no need to worry. You can also dye the fabric to make it have some fun designs. Whether you just want to dye the bags a solid color or try to create unique designs, duck cloth will help you create a stylish set. The other option is to check out some cornhole bags with premade designs, like some of those found in our store.

  • Readily Available

Just like our discussion earlier, duck cloth was widely available when cornhole was conceived and guess what? It still is today. Duck cloth can be found at virtually any fabric store across the nation. The popularity of this material makes it a great choice for cornhole bags, especially for those of you who make your own. That way, there is no shortage of material when you’re looking for replacements that are similar to your original bags.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

Despite what seems like a never-ending list of reason why duck cloth is and should be used for cornhole bags, we do have some words of caution. These can be considered tips to remember when purchasing duck cloth or duck cloth cornhole bags.

Take the Time to Break It In

Our first word of caution is that you should expect to have to break in a fresh set of cornhole bags made using duck cloth. At first, freshly stitched duck cloth may appear to be stiff. This shouldn’t be a concern to you though, since this is typically expected from materials that are meant to last. The first few games you may notice the stiffness to affect the fold in the bag, but you’ll find that it works itself out shortly thereafter.

Select the Proper Thickness and Weight

This mainly applies if you’re making your own set of cornhole bags, but can also be helping when reading product descriptions. Approach with caution when you are selecting the thickness of the duck cloth. As mentioned earlier, duck cloth is made available in a wide variety of thicknesses and weight, so you will want to select the appropriate one. This will likely be the size that adheres to official gameplay standards. Otherwise, you will risk picking one that is too thick and heavier as a result. Or, the alternative of choosing one that is too light and flimsier in nature. So, what is the accepted thickness and size you ask?

Dimensions

The dimensions should be a six by six inch square on each side of the bag, made using either 10 or 12 ounce duck cloth. According to the American Cornhole Association, 12 ounces is the standard. However, it has been mentioned that sometimes it can be difficult to find the fabric in a 12 ounce composition if you’re looking for dyed colors. So if you’re hoping for colored cornhole bags, then the next best option is 10 ounces. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll know what to expect from your new set of duck cloth cornhole bags.

Conclusion

By now, there should be no debate now as to why duck cloth is used to make cornhole bags. Between its convenient, durable and protective qualities, there really is no better substitute. Sure, you may think that a polyester based material would work well, but if you want to honor the way our ancestors played, then it’s best to use duck cloth. As long as you are aware of the varying sizes and time it takes to break in the material, there really is no downside to equipping yourself with a set of long lasting duck cloth cornhole bags.

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