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Pop a Little Cork Into Your Sewing

I was pretty sure we’d all gone crazy when I heard about sewing with Cork. But, then I saw a few of the projects and, most importantly, realized that we weren’t talking about just any old Cork! No one was cutting up wine corks, fortunately! I guess I envisioned sewists dismantling their bulletin boards or something, but that’s not at all what’s going on. The totes, bags and wallets I’ve seen are stitched from a made-to-sew Cork Fabric and just stunningly gorgeous!!

Cork Fabric front and back

Sewing With Cork

Last Spring I attended a mini Bernina University event at local Quality Sewing and learned techniques for sewing 25 different kinds of fabric. Cork was one of the fabrics and turns out it’s amazingly easy to sew! If you’ve been suffering from Cork Fear, don’t – you really need to try it.

Sew Many Creations cork fabric colors
Image Source: Sew Many Creations

Cork Fabric

Cork comes in lovely colors and prints and is widely available online. Hopefully, depending on what your local store stocks, you can find it near home, too. The Cork I’ve seen is generally available 18″ wide in various lengths. Some shops cut it into specific sizes, while others may sell it by the yard. For stability, Cork Fabric is backed with a lightweight, flexible fabric. This is part of what makes it so easy to sew.

Sew Many Creations Cork Fabric Watercolor flowers
Image Source: Sew Many Creations

If you can’t find Cork Fabric locally, online shop, Sew Many Creations has an awesome selection. Be sure to scroll down on their home page to the scrumptious prints!

diy-zip-pouches with cork strip border
Image Source: Polkadot Chair blog

Cork is not an inexpensive material, so you may want to plan a small project when you first start your Cork sewing. Add a little strip on a tote or a border at the top of a zip bag, just to try it. Or, if that sounds boring, just jump into a great big piece and make something fabulous. You’ll be fine!

Cork Wallet tutorial
Image Source: Sew Can She blog

Choosing a Cork Project

When you choose a project, consider not only designs made for Cork, but also designs for vinyl or leather. Cork is a great vegan alternative to leather! I don’t see Cork being used for clothing. It’s just not a good fit for that. But, handbags, totes, wallets, zip bags, purse handles and those kinds of project will be perfect. I wrote a post about sewing with Cork for Coats and Clark’s blog a few weeks ago, so I can help!

Cork bucket bag pattern
Image Source: Sallie Tomato Patterns

The post includes a couple of links to free Cork projects, a couple of patterns to purchase and some basic tips to get you started. Click here to visit the Coats and Clark blog and read my post. But wait, there’s more . . . Just last night I saw another tutorial, posted by Sew Sweetness, with instructions for a super cool Bi-Fold Cork Wallet. Click here for Sara’s excellent YouTube tutorial.


A little time with our friends Google and Pinterest will give you lots of ideas for Cork sewing! Here are a few things I found for inspiration.

CorkaUA tote bag
Image Source: CorkUA

You’ll find lots of Cork Totes on Etsy. This was my fave from CorkaUA.

Cork by Design handbag
Image Source: Cork by Design

Amazon is full of Cork Handbags. This lovely is from Cork by Design.

Grow From Nature Cork Leather boot
Image Source: Grow From Nature

Grow From Nature calls it Cork Leather. We’re probably not going to make boots, but look at all the potential in this fresh and fabulous fabric. Top-stitching, rivets, piping and grommets – oh my!

Cork seam

Cork Confessions

And, True Confessions – I haven’t actually made a project yet! Have you? That little Cork seam up there is all I’ve sewn, but I’d love to see what you’ve made. Tell me how your Cork sewing experience stitched out! Let me know in the comments or, even better, send me an email with pictures. I’m pretty sure Cork is in my Summer Sewing Future!!

Happy Sewing!

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Moment of Further Truth: This post includes affiliate links and I may receive a small payment if you make a purchase using that link. Thank you if you do – it helps to keep The Sewful Life stitching along and I sincerely appreciate your support. All opinions are solely and truly mine and I only gush about things I love!


2 thoughts on “Pop a Little Cork Into Your Sewing

  1. Thanks for the informative post. I haven’t sewn cork yet because I haven’t found any locally. I’ll have to order and haven’t searched out what I want to make. Maybe you should have a sew along.

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