Cork Leather


The unavailability of Piñatex, led to me search for other eco fabrics to play with. Once again I came back to cork leather. Hours of digging and the purchasing of samples has lead me to believe one simple thing; they're hiding something. 

Cork Fabric-1.jpg

Everywhere I looked stated that an environmentally safe laminate was used to adhere the thin strips of raw porous cork to a fabric. Like the polyester peddlers, the focus on the backing is about the durability, and flexibility added.

Cork is an infinite resource as the bark of cork trees that needs to be removed in order to add a couple millennia to the trees' lives. Unlike bamboo which takes months, cork harvesting can only be done every 9 years. Still better than most woods, but with 55% of the global supply coming from Portugal, it's hard to think there will ever be enough to meet demand as it catches on.

The most used backing, not surprisingly, is a polyurethane, polyester, cotton blend. Supposedly, non-backed or cotton only backed cork exists, but I couldn't find any 3rd party suppliers.

I will still make a few things out of it and see how it goes. Might be a lesser evil.