Working with Cork Fabric

Do you love making bags and would like to try something new?   Then why not try cork fabric!

What is cork fabric?

Cork fabric is actually cork!   It is made by applying thin sheets of natural cork to a cotton/polyester blend backing.    Some cork fabrics are printed with a pattern or have metallic designs added.     It is easy to sew and is great for making bags as it keeps its shape.   It is water repellent and is quite hard wearing, making it ideal for bag/purse making.  I have even seen it use in jewellery making.  

I get asked by many of my customers if it is easy to sew and do they need any special equipment.     Here is what I have discovered.


Sewing with Cork.  

Sewing with cork is not much different than sewing with regular fabric.   You can cut it with either your sewing scissors or rotary cutter, you can use your regular pressure foot and a universal sewing needle size 80/90 is good.      However if you are sewing through thick layers then perhaps use a leather needle and a walking foot.

As with vinyl, leather or laminated cotton you want to avoid using pins to minimise perforations and holes.    If you must use pins then make sure you pin inside your seam allowance.   Otherwise I recommend you use Wonder clips and for zippers I recommend using Wonder tape.   You can also use a glue pen which is really handy as it won’t leave any sticking residue on your sewing needle.

It is recommended to increase your stitch length to 3 – 3.5

The other great thing is that you don’t need to finish off seams, eliminating bulk in your project.    The fabric will not fray!



Cork manufacturers will always state not to iron cork fabric.   (I have even stated that in my shop)  However I have found that cork can be pressed if you use a low/medium heat and use an ironing cloth.

If you wish to add a little more stiffness to your project you can iron on fusible interfacing to the back of the cork fabric, however remember to add just enough heat to make the interfacing adhere to the fabric.  Do not over iron as you may disturb the glue and distort the cork.


Cork is naturally water repellent so you can wipe it down or give it a gentle wash if it is really needed.


Like all sewing it is all about experimenting.   So why not have a go and make something unique today!

For a short time only I will be offering my Cork fabric at a special price!  Normally $49.99 per metre now $24.99 per metre.   This makes it great value to have a play with!