How Durable is Cork Fabric?

How Durable is Cork Fabric?

So, you’re thinking about purchasing your first cork bag or accessory. Congratulations, cork is one of the best vegan and eco-friendly fabrics out there. Plus it has a unique look that just screams quality. But still, there’s this nagging question in the back of your mind…“Is it going to last?”

You’re probably a bit skeptical, we understand. Bags and wallets made of cork? How does that work? Well, it works beautifully, really. But don’t just take our word for it. Browsing through product reviews you will find hundreds of customers happily praising the vegan-ness, quality, softness, and beauty of cork.

Maybe all you can think of is a cork bulletin board falling apart, but there is actually no similarity between the cork shavings used to make such items and cork fabric, which is the perfect alternative to animal leather.

Cork Fabric 101: How It’s Made

Colored cork fabric
Rolls of cork fabric ready to be transformed into beautiful wallets and handbags.

After being harvested the cork is left to air dry for six months. Then it’s boiled and steamed to give it even more elasticity. Heat and pressure are applied to cork to press it into blocks, which are later sliced in thin sheets that can be transformed into a multitude of wonderful cork leather accessories. Unlike the chemical processing of leather, cork leather production is chemical-free.

Despite your nightmarish visions, cork fabric won’t crack or crumble. In fact, due to its very simple and natural processing, cork fabric retains all the qualities that “raw” cork is known for:

  • Extreme Lightness

This is one of the biggest advantages of cork products as no one wants to carry a laptop bag that weighs more than the laptop itself. With over 50% of its volume being air, no wonder cork is so light.

  • Water Resistance

Cork wallets and bags are perfect to keep your favorite devices safe and sound - even in the most adverse weather conditions. Water-resistance is cork’s best-kept secret: cork ages without deteriorating mainly due to its resistance to moisture. The suberin covering (a waterproofing waxy substance) present in the cell walls make cork virtually impermeable to liquids and gases.

  • Wear and Tear Resistance

Cork wallets are very sturdy and will last you a lifetime, even if you carry them daily in your jeans’ pocket; other cork accessories are just as resistant. Thanks to its honeycomb structure, cork is highly abrasion-resistant and has a high friction coefficient. That’s why cork is a go-to material even for NASA

  • Slow Burning

We surely hope you won’t ever need to test this, but hey… you never know! The slow combustion of cork makes it a natural fire retardant and a kind of barrier against fire.

  • Softness and Uniqueness

The softness of cork fabric is one of the characteristics our customers love the most. Also, each product is as unique as a fingerprint as there are no two equal pieces of cork.

Cork fabric and finishing touches
Details matter: close-up of dark brown cork fabric.

LET’S TALK QUALITY

If your priority is quality, and you’re wondering how cork fabric products will age and behave through the years, know this: the quality and suppleness of cork fabric products can only be compared to that of leather goods.

But, unlike leather, cork fabric is 100% natural and vegan, water repellent, stain-resistant, and scratch-proof. Another advantage of cork fabric over leather is that it’s very low-maintenance. To keep your vegan cork accessories in good shape, all you need to do is clean them with water and soap. That’s it! You’re good to go. 

Alas, your new cork accessories will age - like every last thing under the sun. But they will do so beautifully, with added character, and will last you for years to come.

Posted by corkor April 13, 2019

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