So what is cork fabric?
You may have noticed that alot of handmade bags, mine included use cork as accent pieces. This isn't something widley used on the British high street at the moment (although it should be!) and you might be wondering what it is? Is it acctually wood?
Well yes it is acctually wood!
Also known as cork leather or vegan leather, because it is seen as the animal-friendly alternative to leather, cork fabric has become increasingly popular with makers of apparel over the last couple of years.
Cork fabric is:
Soft to the touch
Easily cleaned and long lasting
Durable as leather, versatile as fabric
Hypoallergenic, anti-fungal, waterproof and stain resistant
Dust, dirt, and grease repellent
Environmentally and ecologically friendly
How is cork fabric made?
Cork fabric is produced from thin cork shavings obtained directly from the bark of the cork oak tree. Portugal accounts for around 50% of the world cork harvest.
When the bark of these trees is harvested at regular intervals they can thrive for centuries - when the bark is removed a new layer of cork re-grows, making it a renewable resource. This is what makes the cork oak unique as it is the only tree that survives even after its bark had been stripped from it. The bark can develop considerable thickness and can be harvested every 7 to ten years.
In addition to this, cork is bio-degradable and grows in forests without the aid of chemical pesticides or fertilizers.