Introducing Cork Fabric!
We have been sewing with cork for about a year now and absolutely love it! We have sourced some of this fabric backed cork fabric from Portugal for you! We picked out 8 different colors we fell in love with (there might be more in the future) and are selling it in two different sizes - fat quarters (18" x 27") and half yards (18" x 54").
What is Cork Fabric?
Cork Fabric is fabric backed cork strips created sustainably from the bark of cork oak trees in Portugal. How cool is that?
How is it made? First, the cork bark is harvested from the cork oak trees with machetes. Removing the bark from the cork oak trees does not harm the tree, like most trees. The life expectancy for a cork tree is 200 years, and can be harvested every 10 years, so a single cork oak tree can be harvested multiple times while living a healthy life! Next, the cork bark is boiled in water to alter the cell structure of cork, to create a more manageable material. There are no chemicals needed, just water! The cork is then shaved into thin sheets and glued to their fabric backing creating the cork fabric. Finally, the cork is coated to keep it manageable!
Why we LOVE sewing with Cork!
Easy Peasy - It is super easy to sew with! By super easy, we mean super duper easy. It sews (and feels) like butter! We do have some recommendations below on preferred needles, sewing feet and ironing methods. But honestly, I didn't change my needle or foot when sewing with it.
Unique - It is soft, pliable and unique! Cork gives our projects a new fun texture.
Finished Edges - The edges don't need to be finished! Yup, that's right, it doesn't ravel, so there is no need to finish the edges. We take advantage of that in our new Quick Corky Wallet pattern!
It's Pretty - It comes in a pretty range of colors! We are only carrying eight different colors, but we love them all. We have natural, mustard, green, fuchsia, turquoise and navy in solid colors, a natural with rainbow glitz and a black with silver glitz!
Tips for Sewing with Cork
Needles - Cork does not require a special needle. However, we would recommend a sharp needle such as a Microtex, sizes 80/12 and 90/14. Or for a stronger option, a jeans needle in size 110/18.
Sewing Foot - No special foot is needed for sewing on cork! We find lengthening our stitch helps our machine to feed better and we prefer the look of a longer stitch when top stitching. If your machine does grumble when sewing on cork, try a walking foot or a teflon foot.
Ironing - Cork does not crease or wrinkle! Because cork does not crease, you will want to open your seams and sew on each side of the seam to keep your seam flat, or you can glue them down. When sewing with it, you can definitely iron on both sides of your cork. We wouldn't recommend leaving the hot iron on the front side of the metallic glitzy cork for a long period of time!
Interfacing - Cork offers a nice weight but if necessary, fusible interfacing can be applied to the back of the cork without an issue.
Pining - Use clips (we love Wonder Clips) or double-sided basting tape to hold the cork in place while sewing it together. Pins will put puncture holes in your cork and they make it difficult to keep everything flat while sewing.
Thread - We have had better results using a 50 wt thread and a triple stitch when top stitching, rather than using a thick thread. With thick thread you have to use a larger needle and the holes can be unwieldy.
Quick Cork Fabric Facts
Easy Peasy to Cut & Sew - You don't need a special foot, rotary cutter, needle, scissors or machine to get sewing!
100% Sustainable - Cork trees live to be 200 years old and can be striped of their bark without damaging the tree. We love sustainability!
Very Versatile - You can make bags, appliqué projects, wallets, wallhangings, home decor, crafting, embroidery and more!
Light Weight & Soft - Unlike it's leather and vinyl competitors, cork is 50% air, so it is super light weight and also smooth, soft and bendable.
Hypoallergenic - Cork doesn't absorb dust!
Moisture Resistant - Properties of cork help give it a strong resistance to liquids and gases.
Easy to Clean & Stain Resistant - Just use a washcloth with water and soap to clean and upkeep as needed!
Durable & Enduring - The honeycomb structure of cork helps make cork resistant to impact, abrasion and friction. Its resistance to moisture enables it to age without deteriorating, giving your projects a long lasting life.
Fun & Different - Cork is a new fun texture and material to use and play with in your projects!
Our Cork Projects
We have incorporated cork fabric into a bunch of our projects, including some bags and appliqué projects in the Foundation fabric lookbook! Shown below (left to right, top to bottom) is the Hootsville Row pillow, Bubba Bowling Bag, Bugsy Backpack, the Quick Corky Wallet, Shelby Satchel, Hetty HoldAll, Mini Focus Freeway and Elsie Avenue pillow.
Cork Fabric Sale
To kick off this new product, we are going to have a little sale! The cork fat-quarters and half yards will each be $4 off from 3/16/18 to 3/23/18. So, grab it while it is on sale and be sure to share the projects you make with it! Post them to our Facebook Group or use our #sassafraslane hashtag on Instagram!