Sewing with Cork Fabric!

I’ve been busy making another bag for my friend. I call it The Gemma© Bag! My friend told me what style of bag she liked and very nicely let me go with the flow! She had her choice of Cork Fabrics and chose these two beauties.

When it comes to choosing Cork Fabric, I learned that there are two kinds: Touch and Touch Pro. See the Sallie Tomato article link at the end of this post. I purchased both and you can really see the difference. The Touch was stiffer, not as flexible, and it might not have been suitable for the folds of my Gemma© Bag. I think I am going to see what Touch is like when I make my next Coffee© Purse with it instead. The Touch Pro on the other hand was thick and strong, and yet soft and bendable. It was lovely for this project!

The lining was my usual cotton reinforced with Pellon SF101 Shape-flex©, a light cotton woven fusible interfacing. As usual, I did a zipper pocket on one interior side of the bag with my zipper foot and a pocket on the other.

I seriously could sew row after row of topstitching on the strap with my 1/4″ seam foot. So fun! It was also fun to design what kind of stitching I would sew on to my zipper tabs too!

Finished Gemma© Bag! Insides – zipper pocket, pocket and lots of room!

The Front – a pocket with a magnetic snap closure.

The Back – I just love this … more topstitching!

The Sides and the Front – magnetic snap pocket, zipper top closure, and an adjustable strap.

I have found a few informative websites for anyone thinking of sewing with Cork Fabric. Sallie Tomato has a great article (that is downloadable too) here. U-Handbag has a great article too explaining how to sew with Cork Fabric and how to make straps and install rivets here.

Just to sum up all the things I have learned about sewing with Cork Fabric:

  1. Don’t iron it. Seam allowances can be held down with glue or topstitching;
  2. Don’t use pins that will leave irreparable holes. Use clips, Wondertape, glue;
  3. Don’t use fusible interfacing. You might not even want an interfacing or stiffener with Cork Fabric, which has lots of body and is thick on its own;
  4. Stitch length 3mm, 3.5 to 4mm for topstitching. Microtex 80 – 90 sewing machine needles. Thread is 40 wt.;
  5. If your strap ends are too thick for your sewing machine try Chicago screws. See the U-Handbag article link above;
  6. A Teflon Foot or a Walking Foot will help with the thick layers. The articles attached here say 3 or 4 layers can be done on a home sewing machine;
  7. Don’t backstitch to lock your seam ends. Pull the threads through instead and tie them off.

Cork Fabric is a wonderful replacement for leather or vinyl. It’s easy to sew and so ecofriendly! I plan on making more bags out of this unique product.

Have you ever tried Cork Fabric? Do you have any extra tips for us? Have I peaked your interest in Cork Fabric?

Happy Sewing! and if I don’t talk to you before the Easter long weekend, Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT? Well, no change again! I had to buy the Cork Fabric to make this bag for my friend, and the lining was from my remanents bag. So still 131.2 meters left! But there are a couple of Sewing Challenges coming up for me next that should take a good bite out of my fabric stash – after I finish adding the photos to my Coffee© Purse pattern!

Edit July 5, 2019 – The Gemma© Bag is now available in the shop, Lányos Handmade!

15 thoughts on “Sewing with Cork Fabric!

  1. Oh wow, Linda! I love that bag! It looks like designer quality.

    1. Thank you Diane! It was simple to make. I think all the credit goes to the cork fabric. It’s lovely!

  2. Wonderful article, Linda, and your references are thoughtfully chosen. Have no plans to try cork, but your experiences and links will come to mind if I ever do. Such a beautiful bag!!!

    1. Thank you for your kind comments! There are a lot of informative blogs and websites out there. Nothing is worse than not being able to find the information when you need it. I love sharing good info when I find it!

  3. Beautiful bags. You are developing quite the flare for handbags.

    1. I especially love when someone says … I have this bag that’s falling apart… can you make me another! 😍

  4. You pop these out like they are nothing, very impressive! I have heard of cork fabric, but never seen any, it looks like a great choice for a simple bag.

    1. Well thank you! I see something and then I want to make it. It’s like that with everything I sew. I guess with Bags it’s just another puzzle to solve. Very fun! Like quilting or needlework, except I don’t have to put on my glasses! I’ve seen some complicated bags done with cork fabric … I’m working up to ! 😂😂

    2. I’d never heard of cork fabric either, and I’ve just disappeared into a very enjoyable internet rabbit hole to find out more about it – thank you Linda 😁

      1. Your welcome! It’s a practical, fun alternative! I’ve almost finished another similar bag, and its pattern!

  5. Wow Linda, that’s impressive. The bag is beautiful and your workmanship is divine!!!

    1. Thank you Susan! I love making them … like putting together puzzles!

  6. I love this purse and the colours! And it’s cork! Way to go! 👏👏

    1. Thank you! They certainly have lots of choices. Almost anything you can dream of!

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