|This article is about an older version of DF.
Bags are used to store seeds, quarry bush leaves, mill products (flour, sugar, dye) and sand ("powders"). They are made from cloth (plant fiber or silk), leather, or adamantine at a clothes maker's shop.
Bags are used to gather and transport powders the same way buckets are used to carry water. Bags can be placed inside other containers, such as barrels. Bags can be placed as furniture and then function as coffers.
Several substances in the game can only be produced if you have an empty bag available:
- To make glass, you must first assign a "Collect Sand" task at a glass furnace. This requires an empty bag and a dwarf with the "Item Hauling" labor turned on.
- Flour and sugar are made at the mill using an empty bag.
- Quarry bush leaves are produced at the farmer's workshop using an empty bag.
Due to a bug, bags which have been decorated cannot be used for milling or plant processing but can be used for sand gathering and placement as furniture; this is also true of barrels (specifically, for processing sweet pods into Dwarven syrup).
Bags and seeds
Dwarves set to do food hauling will store loose seeds in bags. Bags can contain up to 100 seeds, and seed bags themselves can be stored in barrels. Unfortunately, they will almost always use the nearest bag which will then be taken to the nearest food stockpile. Due to this behaviour, seed storage can tie up insane numbers of bags, each holding only a small number of seeds (often only a single seed per bag), but being seed bags nonetheless they're unusable for any other purpose.
Since it is possible to make stockpiles accept specific types of items, one can fight this by allocating stockpiles the right way. Seeds are recovered at the mill, farmer's workshop, still, and any of your dining rooms (including those belonging to nobles). If the actual seeds stockpile is closer to these than the next pile holding empty bags, all will be well. However, as several of these will also need easy access to empty bags for their main produce, one may alternatively assign small seed piles next to the workshops in question. These will have to be undesignated every once in a while so the seeds are taken back to the main seed pile; however, with some luck the dwarves will haul away the whole barrel or at least the bags instead of single seeds.
If you can reliably determine which seeds are tying up individual bags (much easier if your seed bags are not stored in barrels), you may elect to mark them for chasming, freeing up the bags for more important uses without having to hope your farmers decide to plant them. Alternatively, if you have plenty of bags and merely need more space in your food stockpiles, you may elect to chasm the single-seed bags themselves as long as they are not masterwork.