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