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Sunday, 24 January 2016

Sewing with cork fabric, Day 1 #Corkstopper

Hello Hello!
A new year brings about reflection and new goals for most of us.
For me, 2016 is a year where I plan to extend my design work and sewing skills and  to share this with you along the way. So stick around if this interests you as well.

To begin this journey I have been researching my love of eco-friendly fabrics. I love to Upcycle and am known for bringing home leather jacket bargains from opportunity shops and turning them into amazing bags and clutches, this is my idea of fun!

During my research, I stumbled across an amazing fabric called "Cork Fabric."
I had never heard of it before so got chatting to some other bag sewers who have been using it for a while. They made it sound so easy to sew with and I love the natural look of it against fabrics, what a fabulous combo. So I ordered some....and so began a love affair of cork!

Now when you think of may think of wine bottles? Well I sure did. So I thought it was better that I bring in someone who knows all about this amazing fabric to share tips and ideas.

I would like to introduce my guest blogger: Hermione from LTB Designs.

Hi I’m Hermione, I’m the founder and owner of LTB Designs, a small home run business in Perth Western Australia. I started my little business on Facebook a little over a year ago when my baby was 6 months old, partly because I needed a hobby and also I really wanted to stay home with him. At first I made MCN (modern cloth nappies), then cloth pads and children’s clothing. Then I found my passion in making bags and wallets! This launched me into a whole new world of patterns and hardware and online bag making groups. I came across Little Moo Designs last year, and not only does she have some excellent patterns, I also always try and support other Australian businesses wherever I can. The lovely Kylie has asked me to share a bit about working with cork leather, and also a hidden cross body strap modification that I did on a Fold Over Party Clutch for a customer. (Stay tuned for that tut later in the week)...

My associate and I looked at a lot of different options when we decided to move the business into only bags, wallets and accessories (I’ve been so busy that a friend is working with me now to make the ready to sell items). We use mostly quite expensive baby wrap scrap fabrics for our bags, and wanted something nicer to use than denim or canvas with these gorgeous pieces of textile art! Being eco-friendly and sustainable was really important to us, as was high quality and a point of difference. Then we came across cork leather! Here are our reasons for choosing to work with it for most of our items:

·         It’s sustainable. Now this might not be the case with all suppiers, I’d do some research on where you’re sourcing it from. We chose to buy from Portugal as their product was sustainably sourced from forests in the EU.

·         It’s vegan. We found that this was something that’s important to our customer base, and for me personally I find working with leather or vinyl problematic as I’m very chemically sensitive (which brings me to my next point)

·         It’s low chemical and a more eco-friendly option. Vinyl is petrochemical based and manufactured with a lot of rather nasty chemicals, and leather is actually not a lot better with the chemicals used to process it. Here is a quote from the etsy page of the supplier we purchase from in Portugal: “The majority of the raw and auxiliary materials used in the production of our cork fabrics is of natural origin. Additionally, synthetic materials are used to achieve certain product characteristics. For the production of cork fabric no heavy metals or their compounds, organic solvents, mineral fibres or formaldehyde are used.
These cork fabrics are free from substances which could cause harm to the environment or health.”

·         It’s quality. This stuff wears very much like a thinner leather, it doesn’t crack like vinyl. It feels lovely, it looks beautiful, and it lasts.

·         It’s super easy to work with! It doesn’t stick to your machine foot or plate, no special needle required (I’ll give some tips later on sewing with it), and it cuts easily and cleanly with scissors or a rotary cutter. It has a little stretch which makes it even easier to manoeuvre!
Well if you weren't excited to try cork before, you will be now! Thanks for such a fabulous intro to cork Hermione. Stay tuned for more blog posts in the Cork Stopper Series, we have tutorials, exclusive Little Moo Discounts on cork fabric,  tips and tricks to sew with this gorgeous fabric and a whole lot of fun!

Are you wanting to try sewing with cork fabric? Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.


Happy Sewing.

Kylie. x


  1. I am interested in using cork on my next handbag. I came across your blog when I was searching for some cork fabric.

    1. Try Voodoo Rabbit Fabric in Brisbane

  2. I was wondering if you could either tell me where you get your cork from or sell me some. Thank you

  3. Join Facebook group "Aussie Cork" to check out my prices. You will be pleasantly surprised.

  4. nice blog and nice collection of skin bags .keep it up cork handbags