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Ideas for Using Cork Fabric by Nicky

I hadn't heard about cork, as a fabric, until a few months ago so when I was given the chance to try some out for Minerva Crafts I jumped at the chance!

Having researched it a little I've found Cork Fabric is also called cork leather, cork skin or even vegan leather. 

This fabric is made of natural cork backed onto a fabric backing and comes in a variety of finishes. Minerva currently have six great options but for my review I chose the Natural and Dark Medium grain.

The fabric is a medium/light weight and at 60” wide I would say it's great value. The surface has the feel of a soft leather. I have found it soft and flexible enough to be easily cut and handled by a domestic sewing machine. For my makes I used a leather sewing machine needle as I was sewing though multiple layers at some points.

I wasn't sure if it would be ok to apply heat as it is a bonded fabric but found I could iron it lightly to smooth out creases and to apply interfacing I pressed from the interfacing side. Both times I used a pressing cloth & as low a heat as I could get away with and it didn't seem cause a problem.

With such a versatile fabric it was hard to know what to make so I made a few things!

Firstly a storage basket. 

With a great natural look I can see boxes like this suitable for a variety of uses. I'm always in need of something to stop my piles of patterns spilling over the floor so I made a simple box from a large rectangle of cork folded to give the shape. The cork folds and bends easily and although it is possible to use pins I find that clips hold it better when you have multiple layers. 

I lined this box with a softly interfaced fabric so it quiet a slouchy box, perfect for my needs but more structure could be given just by applying a stronger interfacing.

I found the fabric perfect for bag and purse making too. 

Used here for an around the neck phone purse it was used as the outer fabric, folded double to produce the outside pocket and also double folded to produce the strap! 

This provided a strong strap that doesn't feel too bulky. Using the leather needle my machine happily sewed through the four layers but I did take it slowly!

I'm also used the cork to add a contrast feature on a fabric purse instead of vinyl or leather. 

I feel this a great natural alternative which looks really fashionable.

As the cork fabric doesn't fray it's also great for all kinds of craft work. I think it would be great for some appliqué but in the end decided to set about cutting out some petal shapes and gluing them into place to produce a flower with a button centre. 

I love it but haven't decided if I should add to a bag as decoration or to make into a hair clip….or maybe I need to make more to do both.

I was really excited about trying this fabric & wasn’t disappointed. I'm really looking forward to purchasing some of the other colours. I'm seeing the cork with Metallic as a wallet or a big slouchy shopper!

Happy sewing!

Nicky @ Sew and Snip

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